Voices of the Rainforest: A Day in the Life of Bosavi

August 20, 2021

Tonight the Rhythm Devils premiere a very special drums and space inviting you on a journey to the rainforest of Papua New Guinea.

Through Mickey's work with Smithsonian Folkways and the Library of Congress, Mickey has continually worked to preserve endangered music around the globe. One of Mickey’s closest collaborators and trusted allies in preserving the world’s music is anthropologist and ethnomusicologist Dr. Steven Feld. Together in 1991 they released their CD "Voices of the Rainforest: A Day in the Life of Bosavi". It remains one of Mickey's most beloved projects to this day.

Dr. Feld has spent many years and multiple visits with the Bosavi people starting back in 1976. A 2018 return to Bosavi with filmmaker Jeremiah Ra Richards led to the creation of an immersive film joined to the 7.1 soundtrack. At select Dead and Company shows fans will have the opportunity to see some of these visuals and hear samples of Voices of the Rainforest performed during drums and space, live through RAMU (Mickey’s “Random Access Musical Universe”).

Dr. Feld had unprecedented access to the Kaluli people which afforded him a unique recording opportunity, and the quality of the recording equipment yielded among the clearest aural experiences of the rainforest ever recorded. It was the resources of the Grateful Dead that enabled Mickey, Dr. Feld and their partners in ethnomusicology to record previously uncovered music with new precision.  

Within the 24 hours the recording represents you can hear birds, water, insects and other ambient voices of the rainforest interspersed with Kaluli songs and instrumental sounds of work, leisure and ritual. We encourage anyone this music inspires to visit this link to learn more. https://www.mickeyhart.net/voicesoftherainforest