Saturday, January 28, 2012


An all African Christian enlightenment band set up in the small town precinct at lunch time. You have to know that this is a very compact space and does not compare with the usual expansive high street pedestrian-only shopping areas found in larger urban areas. Also, it is place where people live in maisonettes above some of the shops. 

So, there was this band and several large speakers. The decibels were seriously awful, the sound levels hurt. The singing was abysmal, unusually so, it was not what I would have heard elsewhere from African singers. 

Apart from a very few young people, who, probably already have damaged hearing from loud noises constantly flowing at full blast through their MP3 players into their ears and the experiences of night club sound abuse, the band was making a good job of keeping people away. Like us, people were skirting around the centre, or rushing past the noise. The few local shopkeepers there are in the precinct will not have been at all happy with their trade being disrupted.

I think enlightenment is a multi-way, personal process. Inflicting injurious levels of auditory pain on people is not a particularly useful step to guide anyone to voluntary enlightenment.


keiko amano said...


I think there should be a law to protect citizens' ears. Back in Japan, political candidates and supporters make big noises. Some people are sick and sleeping at home, and some sleep during daytime because of their night time jobs.

ZACL said...

I totally agree with you Keiko. Unwarranted levels of noise are a gross intrusion.

We do have laws to do with noise and disturbance, how these are administered and policed, is anyone's guess.

Harry said...

...I've spent most of my working life dealing with those who have lost their hearing. There are legal restrictions on emission of sound but it appears to be rarely policed. Keep fighting for the cutting-down of sound levels, otherwise we will end up with a generation of early-onset of hearing loss.

ZACL said...

Hello Harry,

Thanks for visiting. I agree with you. It certainly makes us more aware when there are auditory issues in our own families and like you, when you work with people with issues around hearing impairment.

For people with sensitive hearing as well as ordinary hearing mortals too, it is very painful to be bombarded with extra and totally unnecessary high levels of sound.

My best effort was to subject myself to close proximity of the people creating the noise this time, using clear signals of hearing pain, mouthing 'too loud, painful' screwing up my face in distress (not difficult in the circumstances) and getting out of the area, fast!

I am amazed the 'performance' was allowed and I sincerely hope the local traders will take issue with this incident.

Flighty said...

That's a shame as such bands are often good to listen to and watch. Flighty xx

ZACL said...

It was a shame and shameful, I feel, Mr F.


Vincent said...

I love African music. Had it been me, I would have retired to a distance where it was comfortable to listen to. Then, as soon as they stopped between tunes, I would have run back to ask them to turn it down, after donating in their collection box.

ZACL said...

I love African music too, Vincent. This wasn't it. Even at a large distance the sound was grim. Most people kept a fair distance away as the noise was deafening. Your psychology may or may not have worked. The noisy people were not collecting money, they were proselytising as loudly as possible; they were attempting to collect faith converts.

I have a wonderful African mass on a 45rpm. I must do something about getting it converted to media I can play. Finding out how to do it, might just be a very good starting point.


Vincent said...

Your African mass: is it by any chance the original Missa Luba, sung by Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin, of which the Sanctus featured in the film If.... ?

As for converting from vinyl or cassette, I don't know how to do it and don't think it comes out well when digitized. Most things can be found on the Web digitally.

ZACL said...

My Goodness! Yes it is the Missa Luba. I cannot remember who it is by. When I first heard most of the whole Mass, I bought it. Same thing happened with the Mesa Creol; I have that too on 45rpm. In those days,in particular, my pennies were very much counted. Those record producers were honoured by me, I reckon. But then, they did produce something rather special, IMHO.

I'll see what is available on the web.

Vincent said...

MISA CRIOLLA Ariel Ramírez? I had not heard of this till you mentioned it.

Can you give me the details?

ZACL said...

Looks like I may have misspelt the title, sorry Vincent. It is so long since I have had the pleasure of the records, I haven't noted their details. Ramirez sounds familiar.

I will find them and let you know what the labels say.

Thanks for your interest. An American friend visiting me decades ago, after hearing the record on my record deck, got the last copy of the Creole Mass from a record shop in Regent St. and took in back to the USA with her.

ZACL said...

Hi Vincent,

Following a hunt into the record archives, I found one Mass and not the other. I wonder where the missing one went.

The Misa Criolla From The Argentine - A Folkloristic Expression Of Religious Emotions.
Direction: Ariel Ramirez

Recorded on the Philips label- and is a stereo recording. 33.1/3rpm dated 1965

SBL 7684
842 763 BY Flamingo Music/BIEM
842 763 1Y

There are two sides to the disc.

Side 1 is the Misa Criolla in 5 parts.

Side 2 is the Navidad Nuestra in 6 parts.

Solistas: Los Fronterizos
Coro: Cantoria De La Basilica Del Socorro (Dir. Pbr. J.G Segade Direccion: Ariel Ramirez.

If you find the whole, (sides one and two) I shall be most interested to have the details.

Now to trace the African one.