The Sound of FM95.2

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Click here to hear the Station ID of FM 95.5

We rather doubt any of you would enjoy listening to our radio station, and so that you may hear why, we have collected a few samples of what our listeners listen to every day on the station. We hasten to add that they absolutely love this stuff. Below, you will find download links for a few samples of the Kwong traditional and Christian music which is our standard fare. In the interests of making for a speedier download, we have truncated each of these pieces from their original length of over 5 minutes down to something under a minute. (We really don't think too many of you will listen even that long.) Please notice that these are low-fidelity mp3 downloads - we don't have access to the technology to stream audio. And finally, as you listen, just remember that the most glorious strains of Handel's "Messiah" sound in their ears rather like this stuff sounds in yours. (I tried once.) The true story is told of another missionary here in Chad who was rebuked by a very well educated Chadian for his "satanic music." The missionary was listening to... Bach's Saint Matthew Passion. 

This song was written during the days of the French colonial administration and basically tells the listener "what I am about to tell you, keep to yourself." In those days, apparently, expressions of dissent about the French could land you in jail. Happily, things are quite a bit easier these days, but the song remains popular nevertheless. It is sung by Gabriel Dono who is our local Catholic catechist, a born-again believer, and one of the most talented musicians and composers of Kwongland. 

This song is a ballad about a girl who doesn't have any brothers, which is not a good thing in Kwongland. Brothers are your safety net in case your husband lets you down, and they are a powerful force to keep your husband honest in the first place. So this poor girl is in a bad way, and this is her song.  It is sung by Bilte Josephine, the wife of one of our translators.

This recording begins with the text of the Lord's Prayer in Kwong and is followed by an antiphonal rendition of the prayer in the traditional style. It was composed by Baday Gabriel at the song writing workshop Diane organized in April of 2006. 

This recording is a "church" song. As you will notice, it sounds completely different from the traditional songs we have posted on this page. Its pedigree is uncertain, but it, like the other 25 "church" songs, most likely started life about 70 years and about 200 miles south of here ago as a recognizable European hymn taught by the missionaries of that time and place. Over the following decades, as the the hymn was passed from tribe to tribe in the slow expansion of the gospel to the north where the Kwong live, it metamorphosized to what you now hear. It's anybody's guess what it once was. The Christians really like these "church" songs, though it is not so clear whether the pagans are thrilled with them. 

 
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Last modified: May 25, 2011