Esperanto
Author: David Poulson


Esperanto and Popular Music

Author: David Poulson
Published on: February 18, 2000

This Topic article will be a short one (making up a bit for all the times that I have exceeded the 1,000 word maximum quota set by our Editor-in-Chief) but I hope that the information provided below will nevertheless be an adequate introduction to the subject .

Esperantists, almost by definition, have always taken pleasure in experiencing the culture of other lands and so it is not surprising that they have been keen to perform and listen to music - the other international language. Hundreds have songs have been translated, choirs have been a regular feature of national and international conferences, and other musical entertainments - e.g. Gilbert and Sullivan light operas, have been performed in Esperanto versions. There was even a famous Esperanto cabaret in Paris for a while.

It seems to me, however, (and I would be the first to admit that my knowledge of this subject is very, very sparse), that it is much harder to track down professional level Esperanto musicians than it is to find excellent poets and prose writers.

Perhaps I am unfortunate, but most of my own small collection of Esperanto sound recordings are so bad that I cannot bring myself to invite anyone else to listen to them. Even on the rare occasion when I have found a competent musician, working with very good material, (I am referring to Gianfranco Molle's cassette tape Poezio de le Patrolo), the quality of the sound recording is so bad that it is impossible to listen to the tape with any pleasure.

I must admit that there are exceptions. Claude Piron's Frandu Piron and Max Roy Carrouges' Esperanto kaj Libereco are of professional quality and presented to a professional standard. Olivier Tzaut's Tra La Mondo and John Douglas's Imagu are just acceptable. And the situation has improved during the last decade.

But it was late coming. I have looked without success to find any articles about Rock 'n' Roll in those Esperanto publications aimed specifically at young people (eg Kontakto) during the 1970's and 1980's. While pop music dominated (and still does) even student publications from the universities of Perth, it was not until the 1990's that Esperanto-speaking rock fans were catered for with the appearance of Rok Gazeto, published in France.

By that time a handful of pop groups from Northern Europe, playing Esperanto songs in their repertoire, had appeared during the 1980's.

Among them was the Swedish group Persone and one of the editors of Rok Gazeto, Bertil Wennergren, was a member of Persone. Bertil has since made an impressive contribution to the Esperanto presence on the Web. He is the author of La Plena Manlibro de Esperanta Gramatiko , one of the Esperanto Topic's top five Web sites, and you can find out more about this very talented individual by visiting his pages.

An even richer resource, as far as Esperanto popular music is concerned, can be found at the Esperanto-Muziko page

Although this large collection of links, assembled by Duncan Thomson and Jacob Nordfalk, doesn't seem to have been updated for two years, it is very useful to have so much information in one place. Here we find pointers to information about other performers - Kajto, Nikolin', Amplifiki, Olivier Tzaut, and so on. There is also a short list of Esperanto compact disks.

Changing tempo now, for information about Brazilian music.

And, compensating for the lack of graphics in this article, (I may add some later), a good collection of photographs of current musicians can be found

Finally, jumping from North Europe to sunny Spain, there is some information about the group Solotronik and a few Real Audio extracts from their work

And that's all from me for now. A plain vanilla article this time, I'm afraid, but things are rather difficult back at the ranch right now. I hope to be back on track with my next few Topic Articles which will deal with Esperanto and the Oomoto and Bahai religions and, (not before time), Lidia Zamenhof.

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KION ONI SKRIBAS PRI ESPERANTO
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IN ENGLISHPAGHOJ EN ANGLA LINGVO
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