Death in Haiti: Funeral Brass Band & Sounds of Port-au-Prince
15 dead, 15 funerals, 16 funeral processions, 1 procession with no dead, 5 churches, 1 cemetery, 1 wake. 15 hours of recorded sounds are condensed into a vivid sound portrait depicting the way funerals and burials are lived in the Caribbean island of Haiti.
Recorded in Port au Prince by sound artist Félix Blume in early December 2016, Death in Haiti plunges the listener into a world of pain, loss and solemn celebration as each funeral comprises of its own live jazz band as well as a plethora of characters like the joker (le blaguer) who cracks jokes and tales about the recently deceased.
A beautiful document of a thriving tradition, a counterpart or updated version of those famous Dirge Jazz records such as the New Orleans’ Eureka Brass Band on Folkways.
Press & Reviews: Wire Magazine (UK), Skut Musikkultur (AT), The Needle Drop, A Closer Listen, BaddPress, Chain D.L.K, Blow Up (IT), Nowamusyka (PL), Neues-Deutschland (DE), Jazzwise (UK), Revue & Corrigée (FR),
Release date: 23rd March 2018
Broadcast and listening sessions: Radio 1 (Cz), ORF FM4 (Au), Eldoradio (De), Rai Radio 3 (It), Resonance FM (UK), The Wire Magazine (UK), Planet of Sound by Kevin Robinson (UK), Filarmonia Radio (Pe), Radio Q37, Radio Grenouille (Fr), Music Map Global,
Exhibition: Donau Festival (Au, 2019), Casa del Lago (Mx, 2023),
Printed inner sleeves with details on location, bands, dead.
Vinyl mastered and cut by Rashad Becker
Pictures by Félix Blume except the last one by Georges Rouzier.
Thanks to all the funeral brass band musicians
André Frantz Midouin, Alexandre Kenel, Charles Ricot, Edner Paul, Jean Baptiste Guillaume, Jean-Charles Sehweitzer, Jean-Joseph Bruno, Jean-Pierre Saintaimé, Joseph Pierre, Juno Altenor, Marco Joseph, Matthieu Jeanrabel, Presmy Ronald, Turenne Raynold, Wadnel Arisma, Walter Saintilien… and all the ones I meet but don’t have the name.
FOKAL, Maude Malengrez, Johny Zephirin, Michèle Lemoine, Lucie Couet, Guy Regis Junior, Festival 4 Chemins, Joseph Pierre-Antoine, Georges Rouzier, Caroline Berliner, Cultural Center ARAKA, Jerry Reginal, Auguste Alexandrix, Dautruche, Evens Berger, Pax Univers, Ste Anne Church, St Paul Church, St Antoine Church, De Dieu Church, Cathedral of Port au Prince and the Cemetery of Port au Prince.
- A1 – Maestro Walter’s Brass Band “PRAN KWA MWEN”
- A2 – Wake
- A3 – Piano and Screaming
- A4 – Funeral Procession “AMI FIDÈLE ET TENDRE”
- A5 – Last Prayer
- A6 – Prayers, Singings and Maestro Midouin’s Saxophone Solo
- A7 – Maestro Walter’s Brass Band “MOURI JODI”
- B1 – Last Words
- B2 – Maestro Turenne’s Brass Band “LOT BO RIVYE A”
- B3 – Marijuana, Rhum and Music around the Grave
- B4 – Maestro Ronald’s Brass Band “JESUS SAUVEUR”
- B5 – Cries
- B6 – Maestro Turenne’s Brass Band “PITYE”
- B7 – Blagueur Ti Batau, Last Joke
Recorded by a MS Setup Schoeps CMC6+MK41 & CCM8 in a Cinela LEO Suspension and Windscreen,
on a Sound Devices 633. Original Recordings in Wave 96kHz 24bit.
Sound Installation during DONAU Festival 2019