Papua New Guinea Stringbands with Bob Brozman

Songs of the Volcano

“One of the few accidental, yet beneficial, side-effects of colonialism has been guitars washing up on shores all over the world,” begin the liner notes to Songs of the Volcano. One such place, Papua New Guinea, off the northern coast of Australia, is one of the last places on earth to be introduced to the guitar. Santa Cruz guitarist/ethnomusicologist Bob Brozman went to Papua New Guinea to play with and record five local stringbands—each consisting of numerous guitars, a ukulele and a number of singers—performing their fresh, unique music, likened to Hawaiian music of 1860 or Mexican music of 1830. The album is a touching and joyous journey through the music of a people who, despite having been through two volcanic eruptions and a war in the 20th century, maintain an obvious bright-eyed optimism, largely because of their pure love of music. Watch the DVD first so that you can envision the lovely faces of the people of Papua New Guinea as you listen to the accompanying CD.