Art News

Tracey’s African Music Recordings Now on Display

JOHANNESBURG (AP).- Hugh Tracey came to southern Africa in the 1920s to become a tobacco farmer but ended up compiling the largest known archive of traditional African music, recording performers from Congo to Zimbabwe over nearly five decades. Now hundreds of CDs featuring Tracey’s recordings are on exhibition in South Africa along with traditional instruments he collected from across the continent, from Malawian gourd resonators to ingalaba drums played in Uganda. The Hugh Tracey archives are a valuable resource that could contribute to dignity and restoration of African culture, said Luvuyo Dontsa, an arts and culture professor at Walter Sisulu University in South Africa. “White colonialists saw our music as being heathen and they tried to kill it because they did not understand our culture. The recordings of Hugh Tracey are a valuable resource that could explain the missing parts of our culture,” says Dontsa. The exhibition organized by the International Library of African M