In 2014 several groups of musicians from our Antsirabe program in Madagascar were invited to record their music for the first Voices of Unbound CD. The Voices of Unbound: Madagascar CD was created to celebrate the talent and culture of our Unbound community while increasing awareness of the Unbound program. Below, Rovah, a staff member from our Antsirabe office, and Lydia, a mothers group member and musician, share their stories of participating in the music project. You can listen to the recordings online at unbound.org/music.
On Malagasy music — Rovah Ramananjanahary, program officer for the Antsirabe office
Music is very important to our Malagasy culture. For many years, Malagasy people have shared their joy, tears and desires through their music. Unbound created an opportunity to share their world with you; if you want, you can feel and touch Malagasy life through their music.
A strong tradition of music has existed for many years. Like everything in this big world, Malagasy music has a history, but unfortunately much of the origins of Malagasy music are uncertain. What we do know is that it is a beautiful medley of traditional music of different lands of Southeast Asia, Africa, Arabia, England, France, and in recent years, the United States.
The Malagasy Unbound community wants to share their world with you. Through their voices and talents they wish to tell you, even without seeing you, that they love you, and that they believe in you, too. Through their music a relationship is formed between the listener and the musician, between your world and their world, and above all, between your hearts and their hearts.
Reflections on the creation of Voices of Unbound: Madagascar — Lydia from the group Kintana Telo
The musical group Kintana Telo was formed by the mothers group Fiderana, Lovasoa, Fahamarinana in Antsirabe, Madagascar. Our group [comprising mothers of children sponsored through Unbound] is the result of the love and the strong relationship between the mothers.
We are 17 members: three musicians, three animators and writers, and 11 dancers. The name of our group, “Kintana Telo,” means three stars. It was born during a deep discussion and meeting because stars are the light in the darkness of the night.
Our songs are all of a traditional song style called vakodrazana Malagasy; we thank God for the special talents that He gives to us.
Our group borrows our instruments such as the amponga and langorona (types of bass drums) from a local church. We rehearse in the courtyard of the home of one of our members. In this place there is a big avocado tree and we practice our songs under it.
Not one of us here in the Unbound Antsirabe program thought that one day it would possible that our voices and inspiration would be heard around the world. Because of Unbound, this dream came true! This time of recording will always stay in our memory. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a beautiful adventure that we will share with our community and our children. We can be proud; because of Unbound we are able to share our culture and talents with the rest of the world.
The process of recording strengthened the relationship of the Unbound community here in Antsirabe. We want to create a good relationship with you, too, if you want.
Even though there is great distance between us, you can feel and touch our life through our music. Your heart can beat with our hearts through the rhythm. Smile with us and listen to our joy; change our tears to happiness.