Part 4: Music of the Seas – Underway in the Indian Ocean.
The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean of our “blue planet” and forms a cultural bridge between three continents: Asia, Australia, and Africa. For centuries, the names of cities such as Calcutta and Karachi, Dar es Salaam, Port Elizabeth, Jakarta and Melbourne have been well known as starting points and destinations of trade routes. In the Indian Ocean there are large island states such as Indonesia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and – due to their isolation – other almost forgotten islands like the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Comoros, Mayotte, the Seychelles, Zanzibar, the Maldives, Mauritius or Réunion – colonised throughout history by changing powers. In the fourth and final part of his musical journey, Roger Willemsen looks at the music of the people who live today on these islands at the crossroads of cultures. What unites these peoples, who live spread out over thousands over kilometres, is Creole music. At the same time, each island has its own sound and traditions: Madagascarʼs rich musical culture includes the famous bamboo zither Valiha, the Kabosa lute, bamboo flutes and drums such as Hira Gasy. On Réunion, the rhythmically complex Maloya is sung, accompanied by the Kayamb, a sugar cane rattle, filled with seeds. And there is singing everywhere in any case, polyphonic and in the respective local Creole language.