Have you ever heard a monkey dance?
The Indonesian island of Bali came alive in Yell tonight while we were watching the film Baraka.
The film itself is a tribute, a guided mediatation to use the film-maker's own description, of images from around the world accompanied by music and, as part of that rich tapestry, religious ritual and traditions are presented too.
The part that grabbed my attention is the depiction of the Balinese Kecak , seen here in this extract from Baraka, which was strangely and instantly familiar to one of African ear as the sound of monkeys going about their daily business. Westerners call this theatrical piece "The Monkey Chant" and it apparently originated in the 1930's through a trance-inducing exorcism dance.
Of course, this being the internet, there is instant access to sources of information so we followed up by going to this page where an audiophile called Steve has captured sounds from across the world and posted them for free on his website. Click on the play button under the photograph to hear the sound of a different group performing kecak. And we found out that the sound has been copied, used and imitated in David Attenborough documentaries, Mike Oldfield's albums and Japanese Manga films! What do you think of the sound of monkeys?