Witchdoctors vs DAT machines in Mozambique

Steve from Bilocation, who records amazing surround sound and binaural albums, writes after his trip to Africa:
"I recorded lots of good stuff in Mozambique, but the best recording was of some fishermen that sang for me on the beach. On the way home we stopped over on Likoma Island, where there's a famous witchdoctor. He's generally regarded as a bad sort, but I wanted to ask him about shamanic flying (which he's alleged to do). After we spent an hour waiting outside his house barefoot (on his orders) and being eaten alive by ants, we had to pass a special stick through a wooden hole, to a little girl who sat on the other side. The witchdoctor then decided he wouldn't see us, and told someone to tell us he was out. On the long walk back, my DAT mysteriously went into rewind, then record, and erased my best recording. This has never happened to me before, and I won't be messing about with witchdoctors again..."

Ah yes...I think I've found the missing recording.
Something similar happened to me in New York. I had rigged out my jacket as a discreet stereo field recorder (stereo lavaliers on my shoulders and a minidisc recorder in my pocket), and I was strolling thru Chinatown just digging the sounds. I visited the big Buddhist temple just as a solemn ritual was beginning. We were allowed to tiptoe in and told to remain quietly in the wings if we wanted to stay. I knew I shouldn't, but I just had to hit "record" and try to capture the sounds of the trumpet, temple bells and chanting that echoed through this large hall...
The MiniDisc whirred, clicked, and shut off. I tried again and it did the same thing. After a flawless run up until that moment, that particular MD-recorder has never worked properly again and has had to be replaced. Lesson learned; respect the cultures you sample or they may exact a penalty you could never have predicted. :-)
Amos; Asheville NC
An acquaintance of mine once told a story, the details of which I may get scrambled but the gist of which will be correct. He has traveled to many places in the world, including the Phillipines and (if I recall correctly) Nepal.

In the Phillipines he (claimed to have) witnessed faith healers at work, and during a conversation with one, the woman he was talking to went into some sort of trance and started speaking in tongues. He had his MD recorder there and recorded what she said, though when he played it back for her, she couldn't remember having spoken or understand what it was that she had said.

Later on in his travels, he played this recording for a priest, of either the Buddhist or Hindi persuasion (I'm sorry to say I cannot remember which), in Nepal (I think... sorry, forgetting the details doesn't make this story more plausible-sounding), and when the tape was over, the priest simply said, "Yes, that's right." Then he asked my friend, "Do you really want to know what that recording says?"

My friend said that he thought about this for a moment, and then replied, "No, thank you." "After all," as he told me, "when a high priest looks you in the eye and says 'are you sure you want to know?', you'd better be sure you really want to know."
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