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Twouba Eden Fel (English)

Troubadour, or Twoubadou, as it is properly written in kreyol, is the classic sound of backyard barbecues, family parties and corner bars. Typically featuring guitar, banjo, marimbula, maracas and a single drum, twoubadou music is a vehicle for messages familiar to all lovers of the blues. As Sylvain Vilsaint, the leader of Twouba Eden Fel, puts it, we sing about all kinds of subjects, because we Haitians, we live in a lot of misery, and all the misery we experience, we sing about it; we have a song for it. In a tune that is probably called Pa Kritike’m, Don’t Criticize Me, he sings, essentially: Even if you see me sitting here in misery, don’t criticize me. I’m not just sitting here letting life pass me by. It’s a dog eat dog world. In Tout moun Se Moun, Everyone is a Person, he describes one of his four arrests and maltreatment at the hands of the authorities: I was just sitting there, me and about eight guys, playing dominoes, and the police came and arrested us. They put me in a cell. They had another guy sleeping right on top of me. My mother’s dead, I had nobody to call.

In this recording, Vilsaint and some of his musicians visited the Radyo Shak for a brief interview and on-air performance. Next, Eden Fel are recorded playing in the Ghetto Biennale lakou that evening, a raucous concert during which large quantities of klerin, or cane liquor, were consumed. Plagued with technical difficulties and an antique, rudimentary amplifier with a broken reverb control, Vilsaint ultimately amplified his guitar by holding a car-stereo speaker against the body, with near-psychedelic results.


Ghetto Biennale: Radyo Shak


Radyo Shak was the independent broadcast voice of the Ghetto Biennale lakou 2015. Based in a shack in the Grand Rue Atis-Resistans compound of Port-au-Prince, Clocktower Radio's Radyo Shak broadcast Haiti's biennale happenings, from December 10-21, 2015. Radyo Shak Program Director Richard Fleming and Radyo Shak Project Director Jake Nussbaum hosted freeform radio in the bidonville, including Rara bands, interviews with locals, artists and writers, project updates, and Haitian revolutionary history over FM radio, Internet radio, and analog broadcast amplified through speakers and PA. The Kreyòl language programming from the Radyo Shak is available here: Geto Byenal: Radyo Shak (Kreyòl) In addition to the recordings archived here that were collected onsite during the biennale, Clocktower's Ghetto Biennale: Radyo Shak series includes additional material gathered from Haitian musicians, DJ sets, record labels, expats, artists, and more, to give our listeners a complete audio landscape of Haiti in the world today.