Pygmies Sing to Save Their World

Seven African pygmies have arrived in Britain from Cameroon to publicize the destruction of their homeland. They will be performing in concerts featuring traditional bird-like singing used to enchant animals in the forest. These musicians, members of the Baka tribe, will be launching their first album, Gati Bongo next week. The album was recorded using a mobile solar-powered studio under a giant tree in Cameroon. Martin Cradick created the Global Music Exchange to help the Baka fight for their traditions and their way of life. He describes the wonder of their music: "I think it's because, to survive in the rainforest, you have to learn to listen, whereas almost everywhere else our brains learn to filter out sound. Being a musician is 90 per cent about listening, which is why the Baka are so phenomenally musical and can pick up new instruments so quickly". The Baka are nomadic and live a forest lifestyle, hunting elephants with poisoned arrows and spears. They are being driven out of the rainforests by tourism, logging companies and the government which wants to resettle them elsewhere. A Baka musician said: "We were born and grew up in the forest. We do everything in the forest, gathering, hunting and fishing. Now where do they want us to make our lives? :: Independent