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Welsh label releases album of Haitian music in aid of earthquake victims

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BBC Wales Music BBC Wales Music | 15:05 UK time, Thursday, 18 February 2010

Welsh record label Red Eye Music is rush-releasing a compilation of music recorded in Port-au-Prince in aid of the victims of the recent earthquake.

Haiti Vodou: The Drums Of Haiti will be released on 1 March with 100% of profits going to relief efforts in Haiti.

A press release from the record company said, "In October 2002 Welsh musician Christopher Rees and Cultural Concerns director Steve Garrett travelled to the Caribbean island of Haiti on behalf of The Haiti Fund (a charity set up in Wales in 1996 to help the people of Haiti through educational initiatives).

"After working with schools in the north of the island introducing new teaching methods incorporating the use of music, they returned to the capital Port Au Prince to research and record the sound of Vodou drumming. Vodou, commonly known /Anglicised as 'voodoo' is a widely misunderstood religion practised by over half the population of Haiti. Often shrouded in mystery and misinterpretation the religion and its music acts as the heartbeat of the nation providing people with the spiritual strength to survive their daily challenges.

"Recorded over two weeks in down town Port Au Prince, Petionville and El Shaddai, Haut-Limbe, Haiti Vodou: The Voodoo Drums of Haiti presents a raw and riveting introduction to the world of Vodou drumming (the sacred rhythms of spirit possession) via authentic field recordings in the tradition of the great Alan Lomax who himself visited the island back in 1936.

The phrase 'mind-blowing' is often over used in music journalism these days but it can be justifiably employed here when describing the relentless energy and intoxicating intensity captured during the Vodou ceremonies. Haiti Vodou presents an exhilarating insight into the world of Vodou and will appeal to a wide range of percussionists, Caribbean music enthusiasts, scholars, and those interested in Vodou or neo-African religions."


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