Otieno Aloka is a musician best known in Kenya for his hit song ‘Kanungo Eteko’. In our session with the Ohangla group he plays the orutu, the second major instrument of Luo music.
The orutu consists of a hollow wooden box that has monitor lizard skin stretched over one side. The string used to be made from fibers of the sisal plants but is now made from a variety of repurposed materials, including bicycle brake cables. When played with a bow, orutu creates different notes determined by finger pressure against the central stick. It provides a fast-moving, melodic accompaniment, similar to the fiddle in folk and country music.
Date of recording:
29th November 2011
Aluny Village, East Alego, Kenya
Steve Kivutia, Ketebul Music. Mixed by Andy Patterson
Patrick Ondiek, Ketebul Music; Jimmy Allen, Abubilla Music