Thursday, March 21, 2013


Tropy Zaneti
11" x 8.5", 2013
watercolor on paper
One of many tracks in the list that I pulled from the blog Excavated Shellac is this wonderful song Mpanjakan'ny Ny Lisy performed by Jeannette, Hélène, and Rasamy Guitare that was recorded in 1931 in Madagascar. The style of the song is that of French entertainment songs popular at the time but it also has a succinct African sound to it, and I believe it owes as much to South African vocal groups as to French popular song. The extremely well informed writer of Excavated Shellac, Jon Ward, is uncertain concerning the identity of the group but suspects the same people were responsible for the recording as the Troupe Jeannette, or N Tropy Jeannette, that was popular at the time in Madagascar. I had not expected to find an image of the group as the only hit for a keyword search was the Excavated Shellac site. But during my search I came across a video posted on YouTube with a song by Tropy Zaneti (translated in the tags as Troupe Jeannette). The style of singing is remarkably close to that on the 1931 recording, and I suspect that there is a connection. Either a contemporary group adopted the name, or the singing group simply continued to exist 80 years later (be it of course with different members).

No comments:

Post a Comment