Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Yeah ! Madagascar Music

Our last night on Ile St. Marie was celebrated with friends at the fine local restaurant "Belle Vue", where live music is a regular feature.  Though it was "off season", management had promised a band. In the end not one but two bands showed up, both performing great local music.  Damy Magnedrake started the night playing older traditional songs, featuring the local "bush violin", a three stringed instrument called Lokanga that is small but surprisingly loud.  Check out his music here.

I had my Philippine "beat box" and "rain maker" under the table (gotta be prepared) so when they set up we joined in.  For me the percussion patterns were new and challenging, but as the night progressed I found my brain adapted, possibly in direct proportion to the amount of local rum in my glass.

The music became more modern as the night moved on, with Group Zaina playing more original work. Guitars and keyboard added to what was becoming a very big sound.  The kitchen staff, and even taxi drivers on the street all moved in for the performance.

Nine performers shared the lead, and also moved between the various instruments and vocal harmonies with practiced ease.  My wooden beat box was a popular instrument - all the players tried it, and loved the sound it added to their songs.

By late evening we'd moved into a sort of Malagasy blues, a mix of Regge and Blues with a strong local feel.  Haunting music, with beautiful vocal harmonies.  As in the Philippines last year, I discovered I could sing harmony and drum with these guys, and so the real fun began. This is the cruising life....these are the times when your heart is bursting with joy.  Just listen to the last track in the short video clip below - special times.  My thanks to Thomas and Annette on the yacht Anke-Sophie for sharing the evening with us and also for their fine video of the music.


  1. Hey guys.. sounds like you are cruising on very well.. Al tells me that you seemed to find a good outboard workshop in Singapore. . Any details you can share? Kind Regards Peter Williamson

  2. I replied sepertately via email, but you can find the info you need in our Cruising Services Guide, download via the links in the tabs above. Look for Tan Ban Yau Machinery ..... neil


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