John Tyman's
Cultures in Context Series

108 Sound Bytes with Descriptive Text

Click title to hear audio ~ Click number to go to description
1. Pop Music Collage : "Mume Kafichwa Namanga"  4:45 
2. Pop Music Collage : "Shauri Yako"     4:47 
3. Pop music Collage : "Umekwama"    3:04 
4. National Anthem and March Past     4:13 
5. Song : "Do you want to see your nation?"   1:52 
6. "Harambee" -- work together!      3:05 
7. Children sing Kenya's praises      2:52 
8. Song in praise of President Moi     2:53 
9. Nairobi Cathedral : organ prelude     1:56 
10. Nairobi Cathedral : "the Lord's Prayer"    0:57 
11. Nairobi Cathedral : verses and responses    1:26 
12. Nairobi Cathedral : Psalms 15 & 84      2:38 
13. Afternoon rain storm      1:58 
14. Forest sounds at sunrise     2:12 
15. Egrets, herons and storks     2:27 
16. Sounds at first light      3:38 
17. Sounds of breakfast time     2:26 
18. Sounds of late afternoon      1:32 
19. Sounds of evening meal      4:43 
20. Family relaxes after dinner     5:38 
21. "London Bridge is falling down"     0:26 
22. A Luhya story        2:46 
23. Feeding chickens      0:32 
24. Sound of ploughing       2:50 
25. Grinding corn      1:13 
26. Opening charcoal mound     3:18 
27. Charcoal burners rake over the coals    1:03 
28. Charcoal burners' praise song     1:16 
29. Traditional music : male solo and chorus   2:07 
30. Traditional music : ditto, different rhythm    2:51 
31. Traditional music : women      3:20 
32. Traditional music : children perform     2:50 
33. Traditional music at parents' day     4:36 
34. Sounds of market in Kakamega     4:15 
35. Women sing leaving market      1:47 
36. Morning flag raising      0:50 
37. The dining hall at Ingotse      2:06 
38. Chapel service: Kiswahili hymn    3:21 
39. Chapel service : "All to Jesus"      3:15 
40. Chapel service : "Know the truth"     4:19 
41. Chapel service : final hymn "Happy are we"    3:54 
42. Soccer game at Ingotse       1:58 
43. Driving out evil spirits       1:17 
44. Independent pentecostal service      1:39
45. Pentecostal praise song       3:25 
46. Praise song with guitar       3:10 
47. Praise song with solos        2:52 
48. Zebras          0:37 
49. Hippos       1:02 
50. Lions       0:27 
51. Hyenas       0:55 
52. Elephants       1:01 
53. Baboons       0:36 
54 Wildebeest      0:25 
55. Childhood duet         0:41 
56. Early morning outside        1:45 
57. Early morning inside         2:53 
58. Evening meal          1:23 
59. At blacksmith's home        1:58 
60. Sheep and goats return home      1:27 
61. Cattle in yard at SRDC     0:27 
62. Cattle being sprayed         1:10 
63. Cattle leave for grazing      1:24 
64. Cattle return in evening        1:38 
65. Cow grazing         1:11 
66. Stock being watered         0:36 
67. Sheep and goats grazing       1:44 
68. Crunching of salt block     1:30 
69. Cow being milked        1:29 
70. Evening chores         1:29 
71. Milling of corn         1:35 
72. Driving elephants from corn      2:24 
73. Shepherd's pipe  No. 1           1:02 
74. Shepherd's pipe No. 2       0:44 
75. Warrior Chants No. 1        4:26 
76. Warrior Chants No. 2         2:30 
77. Warrior Chants No. 3         4:07 
78. Warrior Chants No. 4        3:59 
79. Children imitate warriors       1:00 
80. Song by young girl          0:39 
81. Woman's solo          1:21 
82. Solo female voice plus chorus      2:55 
83. Praise song in Kiswahili        1:56 
84. Song in language of  Samburu       1:02 
85. Samburu game song         0:44 
86. Turkana chant          0:58 
87. Another Turkana chant      1:08 
88. Second Kiswahili piece     1:23 
89. Teacher-led Kiswahili piece       2:05 
90. Extract from long chant      2:25 
91. Interview with priest : formative years    4:24 
92. Interview:  faith and landscape change  1:12 
93. Interview: disobedient wives    0:54 
94. Interview: more loving husbands   0:28 
95. Interview : the Church and land use  1:27 
96. Church service: "Lord's prayer"    0:26 
97. Church Service: verses and responses   0:24 
98. Congregation sings with drum    2:44 
99. Choral anthem      2:15 
100. Hymn unaccompanied     2:26 
101. Impromptu singing at SRDC      1:45 
102. Sunday School choral piece    2:01 
103. Sunday School solo     1:47 
104. Sunday School chorus with drum    2:24 
105. Local evangelists     1:43 
106. Ditto, but western tune    1:28 
107. In chapel at Loisuktan     4:15 
108. Choir practice at Loisuktan    2:15 

With Sub-Headings

Kenya : Political and Social

1. Pop Music Collage : "Mume Kafichwa Namanga"
Mume kafichwa namanga” --  the first of three examples of “nway highlife” music: this one set against the background of a market. The word “highlife” was used to describe the new music created in African cities. Life in cities was rated “high” (malo in the Language of the Luo) and life in the country “low “ ( ‘mwalo in Luo). Such music played a major role in accelerating the pace of change in rural areas. Men who had left home to work in the city would return to their village bringing with them the latest fashions in music, dance and dress. They'd organize a dance at a “community hang out”  (budho in Luo) where the locals  learned the ways of the city.  “Mume kafichwa namanga” tells of a husband deserted in the town of Namanga ... a matter of great shame. (4.45)

2. Pop Music Collage : "Shauri Yako"
The second piece, is set against the background of a Luyha family home where there’s  a radio. Shauri yako means "it’s your problem or fault" ... don’t bother me! The song tells of man in love with a woman, whom he say is never satisfied with the things he has done for her. He says she wants more than he can possibly do: but  he declares that he will never kill or steal for her as he will go to jail... therefore shauri yako “it’s your problem” (4.47).

3. Pop music Collage : "Umekwama"
This third band  competes with the sounds of a dining hall. Umekwama  means you are stuck, lost ... and in need of help! (3.04)

4. National Anthem and March Past
National anthem and march past in 1982 on what was then known as Kenyatta Day, in front of the provincial commissioner in Kakamega (4.13).

5. Song : "Do you want to see your nation?"
A patriotic piece presented in Kakamega on Kenyatta Day by a Teachers’ College choir (1.52).

6. "Harambee" -- work together!
A song by the same choir, extolling the virtues of working together in accordance with the nation’s motto "Harambee" ( 3.05).

7. Children sing Kenya's praises
Extract of presentation by children on Kenyatta Day, in praise of their government and country (2.52).

8. Song in praise of President Moi
Song in praise of (then) President Moi, celebrating Kenya’s peace, love and unity, by the congregation of an independent Pentecostal Church at Kalelwa Forest near Kakamega 2.53).

9. Nairobi Cathedral : organ prelude
Organ prelude at Evensong in Nairobi Cathedral (1.56).

10. Nairobi Cathedral : "the Lord's Prayer"
“The Lord’s Prayer” at Evensong in the cathedral (0.57) -- for comparison with worship services in rural areas.

11. Nairobi Cathedral : verses and responses
“Verses and Responses” at Evensong in the cathedral (1.26).

12. Nairobi Cathedral : Psalms 15 & 84
The singing of Psalms 15 and 84 at the cathedral (2.38). A poor recording but one that reflects a marriage of British and African musical styles.

Luhya : Environment

13. Afternoon rain storm
Sound of afternoon rain falling on my tent at Kalelwa Forest (1.58).

14. Forest sounds at sunrise
Dawn chorus at the edge of the forest remnant at Kalelwa, with sound of rain dripping from tree, and of nearby stream. Series of bird calls ending with warning bark of baboon 2.12).

15. Egrets, herons and storks
Mixed colony of egrets, herons an storks in trees alongside car park at the hospital in Kakamega (2.27).

Luhya : Home Life

16. Sounds at first light
Sounds recorded at first light outside the hut of Jorama Onyimbo (3.38). The chickens and the native birds awake, the cows are moved off to pasture, there’s pop music on the radio, and the children stir inside.

17. Sounds of breakfast time
Recording made at breakfast in the home of Josephine Mudanyi (2.26). The children chat, the family eats, and their mother listens to the news on the radio-- and to President Moi’s thought for the day.

18. Sounds of late afternoon
In the Mudanyi household again in the late afternoon (1.32). Remains of chicken being boiled to make soup, while the smaller children sing a song they learnt at school and the older ones talk.

19. Sounds of evening meal
While Josephine Mudanyi cooks the evening meal, the younger children sing songs they learnt at school, the older boys play with the radio and argue some, the dishes are arranged, the family wash their hands, say grace and eat  -- and feed the cat (4.43).

20. Family relaxes after dinner
At a home in Bunyore, after dinner. The radio dominates, with a mix  of African pop music, a time signal, commercials, and a quiz show -- with interruptions from a dinner guest who has drunk too much alcohol( 5.38).

21. "London Bridge is falling down"
At the home of Linet and Richard Ong’anda (later Bishop Ong’anda of the African Interior Church) Amayi (aged 9) and Obkuse (aged 7) sing “London Bridge is falling down”, with a radio in the background (0.26)

22. A Luhya story
Amayi Ong’anda tells a fairy story in the Luhya tongue, while his mother prepares dinner in the background (2.46).

Luhya : Farm Work

23. Feeding chickens
Children feed a chicken and her chicks (0.32)

24. Sound of ploughing
Hired men ploughing land on the Ong’anda shamba. Their songs are made up as they work, and they themselves are named in them. The volume fluctuates as the oxen pull the plough up and down the field. Sound of whip, and of hens picking over the furrows (2.50)

25. Grinding corn
Sound of corn kernels being ground to produce meal, at the posho mill at St. Theresa near the Kalelwa Forest (1.13)

26. Opening charcoal mound
Charcoal burners open up a mound. Water is decanted and thrown over the hot coals. They talk as they rake it over. Their songs give thanks for the fire and praise to Jesus (3.18)

27. Charcoal burners rake over the coals
As they rake over the coals the charcoal burners again give thanks for the fire and praise to Jesus (1.03).

28. Charcoal burners' praise song
During a short break they sing a song in praise of the owner, Richard Ong’anda, who allows them to use his land to make charcoal (1.16). Richard was then principal of the boarding school at Ingotse (1.16).

Luhya : Community Life

29. Traditional music : male solo and chorus
Male performers dance, sing (solo and answering chorus) and drum at Kenyatta Day celebrations in Kakamega (2.07).

30. Traditional music : ditto, different rhythm
Ditto to different rhythm (2.51).

31. Traditional music : women
Women dance and chant to flute and drums at the same celebration (3.2).

32. Traditional music : children perform
Children perform on the same day, to an appreciative and sometimes noisy audience (2.50).

33. Traditional music at parents' day
Students dance at a school Parents’ Day in Kima -- to drums, a horn, whistles, bells, and their own voices (4.36).

34. Sounds of market in Kakamega
Sounds of passing crowd, customers bargaining, anxious chickens, clay pots being sounded to detect possible defects, and laughter at sideshow provided by man with an ugly turtle (4.15).

35. Women sing leaving market
At the matatu station at the Kakamega market women wait in a matatu,  chat while the driver’s assistant drums up customers, and break into song spontaneously as we move off (1.47).

Luhya : Schooling

36. Morning flag raising
Flag raising at morning assembly at Ingotse private school for boys (10 kms north of Kakamega). They pledge their loyalty to their country and sing the first verse of the national anthem (0.50).

37. The dining hall at Ingotse
Sound of greens boiling in the kitchen while staff stir the ugali in large pots. The boys arrive and monitors distribute food to tables, where the boys fill their own bowls and eat (2.06).

38. Chapel service: Kiswahili hymn
Chapel service at Ingotse school. The choir sings a hymn in Kiswahili: altos, tenors and basses (3.21).

39. Chapel service : "All to Jesus"
At this same service the boys sing “All to Jesus I surrender” (3.15).

40. Chapel service : "Know the truth"
The boys learn a new song : “If the Son of God shall set you free, you shall be free indeed (4.19).

41. Chapel service : final hymn "Happy are we"
Their final hymn declared “Happy are we and happy we should be, happy for evermore; singing together, praising his holiness, for He never fails”. Some sections in Kiswahili (3.54).

42. Soccer game at Ingotse
Sounds from the sidelines of a soccer game at Ingotse. The boys are divided into “houses” (much like schools in England) and this was an inter-house game (1.58).

Luhya : Religion

43. Driving out evil spirits
The banging of pots and pans to scare away evil spirits on the last day of the year. Some people in the village start up and others join them, moving in a line westwards, driving the spirits towards the setting sun. This serves to usher in, and bless, the new year – as the sun rises again in the east on January 1st (1.17).

44. Independent pentecostal service
Extract of service at an independent Pentecostal church near Ingotse, led by their priestess, and meeting in the front room of her house (1.39).

45. Pentecostal praise song
These three songs were recorded in the chapel (and granary) of the independent Pentecostal church beside Kalelwa Forest. The “choir” were all members of the polygamous minister’s very large family (3.25).

46. Praise song with guitar
Praise song “Take me there”, with guitar accompaniment ( 3.10).

47. Praise song with solos
Praise song with solo sections, with guitar and rattle, and rain on roof towards end (2.52).

Samburu : Wildlife Collages
(A mix of commercial recordings with some of my own, incorporating  appropriate background sounds.)

48. Zebras
The “barks” of zebras (0.37).

49. Hippos
Sound of hippopotamus close to river bank  (1.02).

50. Lions
The roar of a hungry lion (0.27).

51. Hyenas
The “laughs” (and chuckles and snarls)  of bone-crunching hyenas (0.55).

52. Elephants
Elephants trumpet and growl among the birds of a dry forest (1.01).

53. Baboons
The warning cries of baboons ... warning other baboons and would-be trespassers (0.36).

54. Wildebeest
The grunts of a herd of gnu or wildebeest (0.25).

Samburu : Home Life

55. Childhood duet
The children of Paulo Lekembe sing at their house near Nomotio (0.41) .

56. Early morning outside
Outside the house of Anna Lanyasunya in Loisuktan at early morning. Sound of cows being milked, chickens fed, and from inside the house the sound of children talking and the cries of the baby animals (sheep, goats and cattle) brought inside for safe-keeping during the night (1.45).

57. Early morning inside
Inside Anna’s house in the early morning. Children talking, with baby goats in background. Sound of tea being prepared over crackling fire, then mixed and cooled by being poured from bowl to mug and back again. Sounds of tea being poured into cups, and someone blowing their nose. Then tears of a neighbor’s child who didn’t want to go to school, was chastised by her parents, and  fled to Anna’s house for refuge (2.53).

58. Evening meal
Sounds of conversation over evening meal at Anna’s house ... of sweet corn (1.23).

59. At blacksmith's home
At blacksmith’s workshop beside his house. Sounds of his mother pumping the bellows, of a wooden spear-handle being shaped, steel being worked over an anvil, and cow bells being checked (1.58).

Samburu : Agricultural Activities

60. Sheep and goats return home
Sheep and goats return to their manyatta at the end of the day, where both kids and lambs are re-united with noisy and reluctant mothers who are loath to feed them (1.27).

61. Cattle in yard at SRDC
Cattle in yard at the Samburu Rural Development Centre (the SRDC)  prior to spraying (0.27).

62. Cattle being sprayed
Cattle being sprayed as a protection against East Cover Fever, carried by ticks (1.10).

63. Cattle leave for grazing
Sound of bells as cattle leave the SRDC in the early morning to graze: with goats in background (1.24).

64. Cattle return in evening
The cattle (and their herders) return in the evening, grazing as they come. (1.38).

65. Cow grazing
Close-up of cow grazing on hillside (1.11).

66. Stock being watered
Stock being watered at a stream nearby (0.36).

67. Sheep and goats grazing
Sheep and goats grazing together: sound of herders’ whistles, local birds, and munching of grass (1.44).

68. Crunching of salt block
Block of mineral salt being consumed by goats at Anna’s manyatta (1.30).

69. Cow being milked
Anna milking cow at Loisuktan in morning, in conversation with children (1.29).

70. Evening chores
Outside house at Loisuktan in the evening. Sound of calf re-united with mother and suckling desperately, while cow is being milked by woman singing as she works (1.29).

71. Milling of corn
Milling of grain at the SRDC. Sound of engine starting up and of dry kernels being ground to produce corn meal (1.35).

72. Driving elephants from corn
Sound of the population of Loisuktan trying to scare elephants away from their corn crops (2.24).

Samburu : Traditional Music

73. Shepherd's pipe  No. 1
Piece played on shepherd’s pipe by boy at Sirata Oirobi, against background sounds of dog barking, pots and pans, and fire crackling (1.02).

74. Shepherd's pipe No. 2
This second piece is free of background noise (0.44).

75. Warrior Chants No. 1
These chants were recorded at a gathering of recently circumcised young men at Sirata Oirobi. In the first one they sing of their pride, of the beauty of their land, its clean water, and their love for cattle; one of the young men imitating the voice of a woman (4.26).

76. Warrior Chants No. 2
This second piece is a light-hearted game song, with clapping (2.30).

77. Warrior Chants No. 3
Another chant with a leader plus chorus with, towards the end, the sound of the boy playing his pipe outside (4.07).

78. Warrior Chants No. 4
This last piece is dominated by two voices, one of them at high speed (3.59).

79. Children imitate warriors
Young children playing games, pretend to be initiated warriors and sing their songs (1.00).

80. Song by young girl
Solo by young Samburu girl (0.39).

81. Woman's solo
Solo by Samburu woman, with some interference from wind etc.(1.21).

82. Solo female voice plus chorus
Light-hearted solo plus chorus, again with some interference (2.55).

Samburu : Schooling

83. Praise song in Kiswahili
A set of seven songs, without musical backing, performed by children at Nomotio Primary School, near Maralal. This first piece, led by their teacher, is a marching song in praise of Kenya and President Moi’s accomplishments (1.56).

84. Song in language of  Samburu
The Samburu speak Maa, the language of all Maasai peoples (1.02).

85. Samburu game song
Another Samburu piece, this one with responsive clapping (0.44).

86. Turkana chant
Many Turkana displaced by fighting and drought had settled around Maralal and many school children were familiar with  three languages -- Maa, Turkana and Kiswahili -- and a few spoke English also (0.58).

87. Turkana chant
Turkana chant with clapping and stamping emphasizing rhythm (1.08).

88. Second Kiswahili piece
Another responsorial song in Kiswahili. Like the others it was recorded without rehearsal, since I arrived at the school before lessons began on the first day of a new term (1.23)

89. Teacher-led Kiswahili piece
A song in Kiswahili in which the teacher sang the solo parts (2.05).

90. Extract from long chant
This one was recorded at Lpartuk Primary School, with the backing of a drum (2.25).

Samburu : Religion

91.  Interview with priest : formative years
Among the Samburu then there were three Anglican priests and hundreds of Christians, though the majority adhered to traditional Maasai belief systems. The Rev’d David Letoya  speaks here of his childhood, of his days as a warrior, and his conversion. “BCMS” stands for “Bible Churchman’s Missionary Society” and the  “Church Army” is an Anglican organization of trained lay ministers (4.24).

92. Interview:  faith and landscape change
David Letoya explains how the freedom from fear and the weight of the past  which Christians experienced, made them willing to try new things, changing the landscape accordingly (1.12).

93. Interview: disobedient wives
David speaks of the conflict likely when a wife is “saved” but her husband is not (0.54).

94. Interview: more loving husbands
Next, how the position of a wife can change if her husband becomes a Christian (0.28).

95. Interview : the Church and land use
The role of the Christian church in development,  in the face of opposition to any change in use practices (1.27).

96. Church service: "Lord's prayer"
David ministers at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Maralal, where he has two services each Sunday -- one at 9.30 in Kiswahili and the other at 11.00 in the language of the Samburu (0.26).

97. Church Service: verses and responses
These two items, and the hymns that follow, can be compared with the services at the cathedral in Nairobi for ex-patriates and the Kenyan elite (0.24).

98. Congregation sings with drum
Hymn with drum accompaniment at Church of the Good Shepherd ( 2.44).

99. Choral anthem
The choir sings an anthem at a service of Holy Communion (2.15).

100. Hymn unaccompanied
The hymn “Render unto Him”, sung to a Western tune, without drum accompaniment (2.26).

101. Impromptu singing at SRDC
Service in the chapel of the Samburu Rural Development Centre. The choir  make up their own songs (both words and music) after they have heard the day’s Bible reading expounded (1.45).

102. Sunday School choral piece
Sunday School at the SRDC: a choral piece (2.01).

103. Sunday School solo
Solo at SRDC Sunday School (1.47).

104. Sunday School chorus with drum
Extract from long chant with drum accompaniment (2.24).

105. Local evangelists
Outreach team of evangelists from the church in Maralal sing at Lpartuk.
Their songs are improvised and “Spirit given” (1.43).

106. Ditto, but western tune
Ditto, but the tune of their hymn clearly reflects one learned at school -- “My Darling Clementine” (1.38).

107. In chapel at Loisuktan
Extracts from the Friday women’s service in the little church near Anna’s house. The sermon was preached by her sister Marissa, to a congregation that included several small children (4.15).

108. Choir practice at Loisuktan
The words were their own but the tune reflects in part an American folk song “Froggy would a wooing go” (2.15).


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