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Song from the Forest: My Life Among the Ba-Benjelle Pygmies
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Song from the Forest: My Life Among the Ba-Benjelle Pygmies

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  31 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Drawn to the heart of Africa by a song, Sarno began his journey with little more than a one-way ticket, some recording equipment, and a native notion about Pygmy life. Eventually he was allowed to join them in the rain forest, where he experienced the extraordinary beauty and spiritual sophistication of their culture, in which music is of supreme importance.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 1st 1994 by Penguin Books (first published 1993)
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Max Carmichael
A master drummer gave me recordings of Pygmy music about 30 years ago, saying it was the "ultimate music of the world." I concurred - I found it to be far more sophisticated than anything coming out of either Western or Eastern classical traditions, and particularly amazing since it's created by an entire community rather than by a specialist elite.

Sarno comes off as a natural storyteller, and the first half of the book engaged me with evocations of a magical native melange of communal music/dan
The exploitative nature of amateur-in-the-field writing is sadly overshadowed by the author's excitement for almost taking a teenage bride; honesty only wins you points when it is not cringe-inducing
Aug 01, 2008 SuperBanjo rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one.
Recommended to SuperBanjo by: Rather not say.
This is a trashy "world music" book. Should someone tell you it was written by an ethnomusicologist, it wasn't. If someone tries to explain "this is what ethnomusicology should be," you can be quite confident in knowing that that person does not know what they're talking about. If you want to read about central African pygmy music, there are far, far better books.
Emily Steele
I enjoyed the story of a man traveling across the world to find and record indigenous Pygmy music and the view it provided into this hidden world. However, his obsession with his young teen "wife" besides being perverted grows annoying as he talks about her non stop even after she rejects his advances.
Hearing the music of Pygmies tribes of the Congo, the author goes in search of them and falls in love. Not your usual love story.
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