Pantaleon Playing Mvet – Direct from Yaounde

Posted June 25th, 2014 at 7:18 pm (UTC+0)

I recently returned from an exciting music tour in Rwanda and Cameroon. I brought back fantastic music cds and audiovisual field recordings of time spent performing and work-shopping with local artists, students, and broadcast journalists. Pantaleon and Heather

This short clip features a traditional poet musician from the Eton-speaking region of Cameroon. His name is Pantaleon and he plays a multi-gourded string instrument known as the mvet.  He sings in Eton. We met poolside at the Hotel Mt. Febe which overlooks the sprawling city of Yaounde.

Pantaleon said he uses the first song to say goodbye to a rude host, particularly one who invites he and other musicians to play but refuses to offer them good food or drink. He sings to the host as he leaves, “This wounded heart will never heal.”

In addition to my new music and field recordings from Central Africa, I also brought back that mvet with the hopes of composing (and tuning) my own songs.  Thanks, Pantaleon. Special thanks also to musical artist Manuel Wandji (aka Wambo) and to Jonathon Koehler and Olivia Mukam from the U.S. Embassy – Yaounde.

Dr. Heather Maxwell
Dr. Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

3 Responses to “Pantaleon Playing Mvet – Direct from Yaounde”

  1. Julie says:

    Wow – this is wonderful! Thank you!

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Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award-winning radio program “Music Time in Africa” and is the Africa Music Director for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with Doctorate and Master’s degrees from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

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