Maya Deren (1917-1961)





Voices Of Haiti (recorded by Maya Deren), 1953


Side one

Creole O Voudoun (yanvalou) 5:02
Ayizan Marche (zepaules) 3:23
Signaleagwe Orroyo (yanvalou) 3:37
Zulie Banda (banda) 3:09
Ibo Lele (ibo) 1:16



Side Two

Ghede Nimbo (mahi) 4:39
Nogo Jaco Colocoto (nago crabino) 2:50
Miro Miba (congo) 2:59
Po' Drapeaux (petro mazonnei) 5:49


Voices Of Haiti (recorded by Maya Deren)
Elektra EKLP-5 (10-inch mono) 1953
Recorded during ceremonials near Croix Des Missions and Petionville in Haiti by Maya Deren


Excerpted notes from the cover:

The belief that the proper performance of a sacred formula of symbols or sounds is the means by which man achieves contact with divine powers is a basic principle not only of Voudoun, but of every religion. Such formulae were known as mantras in ancient Sanskrit, and this is still the term for all such ritual action, whether the chants of the Muslim muezzin or the saying of the Catholic rosary. The use of mantras is as ancient and as universal as man's desire to improve his condition and secure his destiny. It is as prevailing as the proud conviction of each man that his weaknesses and inadequaceis are, by and large, common to all men and that, consequently, the power which is sufficiently superior to sustain and fortify him is one which is superior to man altogether. In times of need a man may seek to enlist such assistance by magic means. (...) If the songs and drumming achieve the compelling power which I believe is represented in this album it is because the microphone, lashed to the center post of the ceremonial peristyle, has captured a record not of men and women at play, not of their relaxed spontaneities, nor of their effort to create an art work for other men or for the satisfaction of any employer. It is a record of labor, of the most serious and vital effort which a Haitian makes, for he is here laboring for divine reward, addressing himself not to men but to divinity. They are singing for the gods. It is a privilege to have overheard and to have recorded it. -Maya Deren


Poetry And The Film: Amos Vogel, Maya Deren, Parker Tyler, Willard Maas & Dylan Thomas, Sessions 1 & 2 At Cinema 16 (10/28/ 1953)

Part 1
Part 2

This historically significant symposium held at the venerable Cinema 16 film society unraveled the relationship between poetry and avant-garde cinema. Discussed are the types of poetic expressions in film, poetry as a visual medium, "cinepoems", and the influence of Vigo, Dali, Bunuel, Cocteau, and Eisenstein. A discussion surrounds the need to collaborate between writers and filmmakers, the divide between types of cinema, and collaboration as key for the future of film.

* Please note condition of reel- phantom audio can be heard on pt 1 due to tape condition.

(PT 1: 1:21:48; PT 2: 1:15:07; TRT: 2:36:55)
From Rare Audio from Anthology Film Archives