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Friday
Jul152011

Paul Nabor & Paranda Music

Paul Nabor 

I’ve just been tidying my office.  This involved me in picking up a CD from the pile on the floor and putting it on the CD rack, but because it’s a Paul Nabor CD, and because just having it in my hands brings back so many wonderful memories of my time in Belize, here I am writing about Paul Nabor instead of doing any more clearing up. 

The first time I heard Paul Nabor I was in the CD section of Crystals Supermarket in San Ignacio. My son, Idris, put a set of headphones over my ears and said, ‘Listen to this.’  The track he played was Naguya Nei [‘I Am Moving On’].  I didn’t need to hear any more.  I bought the tape and carried it round Belize with me and brought it home, and wrote about it in my novel.  And now, every time I put it on, the smells of Belize, the heat of Belize, the dusty roads and people and flowers and trees of Belize all come back.

 Paul Nabor is the greatest living exponent of Paranda, which is the music of the Garifuna people of Belize.  It’s soulful, melodious, wistful, vibrant, full of longing, full of power. If you want to hear it for yourself, or find our more about Paul Nabor, paste in this link:

http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/belize/nabor.html

 Here's what I wrote in 'In the Trees', the book which came out of my time in Belize:  

‘There are some things you never forget.  Your first banana milkshake.  Your first kiss.  The first time you got drunk.  And Kid would never forget the first time he heard paranda being played, beating out the rhythm of Belize, or that most singular of singers, that magician of music, Paul Nabor, electrifying him with the wistful beauty of his voice. 

‘Suddenly a music shop in downtown Dangriga was transformed.  The singer’s voice was full of birds and beasts and tall white stately ceiba trees.  Flowers were in his voice, and clouds of butterflies, and Kid could hear rivers flowing through the shop, and hear people too.  He could hear their voices caught up in the song, and he didn’t feel lonely any more.’

 

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