David Fanshawe: African Sanctus

David Fanshawe: African Sanctus

by David Fanshawe


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Something of a jumble, this album was recorded in 1973 in Britain. It is the product of David Fanshawe, known mainly for his work in recording various ethnic groups around the world for the Explorer series. Here, he adapts a basic Catholic mass for an ensemble of "African tapes, choir, operatic soprano, light soprano, shouter, African drummer, rock drummer, two percussion, electric guitar, bass guitar, piano, and Hammond M-100 organ" (from the liner notes). If ever there was a recipe for chaotic music, this is it. The music is jumbled noise, with only a vague concept of melody hiding within the cacophony. For the second portion, the guitars are taken out, and Fanshawe himself solos as a lead cantor, for what will now become something of a vocal chaos instead of the instrumental one presented in the first half. There is rhythm to be found here, though less melody presents itself for quite some time. This album is something of an anomaly in all respects. Much later, the Missa Luba was presented with vaguely the same concept (an African version of the Catholic mass) and with much greater musicality. This album would appear to be an experiment in combining styles, and met with or without great success, depending on the view of the listener. It's definitely interesting, but it can also become quite grating as well. The final decision must be left up to the individual listener, though it's certainly recommended that it at least be heard once, for the experience if nothing else.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/23/2000
Label: Proprius Records
UPC: 0822359099845
catalogNumber: 9984

Album Credits

Performance Credits

David Fanshawe   Primary Artist,Piano
Karen Evans   Alto
Ruth Freeman   Alto
Chris Ward   Alto
Carolyn Wood   Alto
Sally Woodgate   Alto
Julie Wrenn   Alto
Ernest Abery   Bass
Paul Baker   Bass
John Harper   Bass
Mark Hunter   Bass
David Lewis   Bass
David Lewis   Bass
Victor Thomas   Bass
Bryan White   Bass
Robert C. Wright   Bass
Harold Fisher   Drums
Alan Parker   Guitar
Andy Pask   Guitar
Skaila Kanga   Harp
Eric Allen   Leader,Percussion
Gary Kettel   Leader,Percussion
Terry Emery   Percussion
Jonathan Williams   Piano
Fiona Abbey   Soprano
Mary Davis   Soprano
Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez   Soprano
Sam Hooper   Soprano
Lois Johnson   Soprano
Anne Lloyd   Soprano
Jane Macchi   Soprano
Sandra Vicente   Soprano
Judith Wilkins   Soprano
Anne Wood   Soprano
John Allen   Tenor Saxophone
John Best   Tenor Saxophone
Justin Hobart Brown   Tenor Saxophone
Michael Brown   Tenor Saxophone
Jim Green   Tenor Saxophone
Paul Price   Tenor Saxophone
Sean Sweeney   Tenor Saxophone
Lindsay Wood   Tenor Saxophone
Robert Colquhoun   Vocals
James Ward   Vocals
John Williams   Vocals

Technical Credits

Mike Ross-Trevor   Engineer
David Fanshawe   Producer
Reynold da Silva   Executive Producer

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David Fanshawe: African Sanctus 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fanshawe has created an unbelievable mix of African recordings mixed with classical Roman Catholic Mass music. Be sure and check out the Kyrie & the Lord's Prayer - wonderful arrangements. It's an album that will absolutely blow you away!