Friday, March 1, 2013

A Roro Song

Roro Girl
24" x 12"
oil on luan, 2013
The second Roro song in the Top 100 provided me once again with the opportunity to paint portraits of people who weren't affected yet by Western civilization. I gotta say that these are my favorite subjects to paint. Had I lived a Century earlier I probably would have been a painter of just such portraits, and it would have been respectful then too. But now I can only indulge when the concept of the larger series prompt me do do so. The girl depicted here may well be the singer of the Aroba song she illustrates as the image appears right with the description of the song in the liner notes from The Columbia World Library of Folk and Primitive Music, Volume V: Australia and New Guinea. Both the photo (taken by Dupeyrat) and the singer of the Aroba remain anonymous. I singled out the Roro recordings made in 1952 from that album, and from the volume of the Columbia World Library on Indonesia as well, because they're just too wonderful. The beautiful singing voices, melodic instrumentation, yet brutally uncivilized aura, make these recordings the most fascinating of all that I've encountered in 2012.

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