Riga Raga ‘Musica Nòstra’

'Riga Raga' front coverClaude SicreRenat Jurié with Jean-Pierre Lafitte'Riga Raga' back cover

01 Lo Fringaire (1:20)
02 Regret De Maidon (2:10)
03 A Minjat Mon Blat (2:15)
04 Regret Cabreta + Goanhadas (5:48)
05 O, Es Aici Lo Mes De Mai (1:30)
06 Canta, Canta Caramel (0:30)
07 Tè L’ can Tè (0:30)
08 Lo Pastor (5:10)
09 Rigaudon (0:30)
10 Papa Luna (0:20)
11 Granda (2:40)
12 Charivaris I (3:10)
13 Charivaris II (2:25)
14 Improvisacion Rebuta (2:25)
15 Sava, Sava (0:15)

Total time 32:00
LP released by Edicions Revolum [+], Toulouse, France, 1979

The Riga Raga project was launched by writer, poet and musician Claude Sicre and ethnomusicologist Luc Charles-Dominique in Toulouse in 1977. Their music blends 13th century Troubadours’s songwriting style named Tenson (a poetic duet with Question and Answer parts), with Occitan language and folk instruments. Claude Sicre’s originality was to add Brazilian percussion style from the Nordeste area and radical use of traditional instruments from the South of France. A strategy perfectly exemplified in his duo with Ange B. (aka Jean-Marc Enjalbert) called The Fabulous Trobadors (first CD: Èra pas de faire, in 1992). The Riga Raga other members were ethno-musicologists, revivalists and local musicians from the Toulouse area. There is a political message in their refusal of traditional folk music, as they consider the latter a downgraded version of grass root traditions. The music on this LP is quite radical in its use of the folk music idiom, in the variety of instrumentation (jew’s harp solos, weird percussion instruments, small bagpipes, whistles, etc). Sounds at times like pygmy chanting, later like a Biota unplugged improvisation session. Vocal acrobatics include: singing with one’s nose pinched, singing while playing the jew’s harp, dialogue with a barking dog, to name but a few. ‘Riga Raga’ is the Occitan word for wooden rattle. Other instruments include: 2 flutes played simultaneously ; brau (or pignato), a percussion instrument ; cabrette (small bagpipes) ; rebuta, a jew’s harp ; stones used as percussion instruments ; ferrat, a water bucket played with a bow ; wooden whistle, etc. Expect weird sounds, hardly sounding like folk music at all.


10 Responses to “Riga Raga ‘Musica Nòstra’”

  1. 1 chris April 15, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Thanks for the great music! Much appreciated!

  2. 2 continuo April 16, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Glad you enjoyed, Chris. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. 3 Bondurant2001 April 16, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Milles Mercis, depuis l’Occitanie :))

  4. 4 Michael B April 17, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Where do you find all this crazy stuff? Your blog is such a resource for the adventurous. Thanks so much!

  5. 5 Marcus Staniec January 29, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I am very interested in various music of the world that is extremely unique in an abnormal and strange way.
    Outsider ethnic folk or indigenous experimental music if you will.

    This is such an amazing record – thanks so much for sharing it!
    This blog never ceases to amaze me!

    Anything else that would have similar appeal please direct me to it.

    Thanks so much!

  6. 6 continuo January 29, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Thanks, Marcus. You should try to locate Claude Sicre’s other band, called The Fabulous Trobadors, particularly their 1st 1992 CD titled ‘Èra pas de faire’ (here, for instance).
    Are you familiar with Brooklyn band Terry Dame & Electric Junkyard Gamelan? I love them.

  7. 7 Marcus Staniec February 13, 2010 at 2:11 pm


    Thanks a lot for the recommendations.
    I found the Electric Junkyard Gamelan and I’m really digging them atm.
    I’m always on the look out for interesting music that utilizes home-made instruments.

  8. 8 David July 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Hi Continuo,

    The link seems to be dead – any chance of re-upping this somewhere?


  9. 9 continuo July 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    See the 2012 Re-ups page.

  10. 10 David July 16, 2012 at 11:30 am

    The one on that page doesn’t seem to be working either. Thanks anyway – maybe it’ll turn up on soulseek.

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