Kayapó - The Crying Chieftain Raoni (Radio)

Radiokomposition, 2019

Radio composition / stereo / 49’00.


Kayapó – The Crying Chieftain Raoni is dedicated to the Kayapó and Guarani people of the Amazon rainforest and the Kayapó leader Raoni Metuktire.


In the spring of 2018, composer Robin Minard traveled to Brazil, where he participated in the week-long “Acampamento Terra Livre” (ATL) indigenous protests in Brasilia and visited the Amazon rainforest north of Manaus.

During the protests in Brasilia, Minard interviewed indigenous people, recorded their songs and stories, and documented their protests against the Brazilian government’s policies. These policies are causing the destruction of traditional indigenous lands and the extinction of indigenous people. Since the completion of the radio composition in 2019, the Covid crisis has only deepened the suffering of indigenous people in Brazil.

After the 2018 ATL protests, Minard traveled to the rainforest near Manaus to experience the beauty of the forest firsthand. With the help of a local guide, he spent a week collecting acoustic documentation. His field recordings paint vivid pictures of the forest: the sound of the sunrise from the depths of the rainforest, flocks of canaries gathering at sunset, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, bird calls, distant storms, gentle rain.

The work interweaves field recordings with indigenous voices and stories, as well as lists of murders committed against indigenous peoples for reasons of prejudice, greed, and politics. The work paints a tragic picture of Brazil’s indigenous people and their struggle for survival.

The radio composition was commissioned by Deutschlandfunk Kultur Berlin and WDR3 Cologne and first broadcast in Germany in May 2019. The work was a finalist in the Field Recording category of the Phonurgia Nova Awards (Paris 2019) and has since received several broadcasts in Europe. In 2021, Brazilian sound and radio artist Janete El Haouli collaborated with Robin Minard to create a Portuguese version of the work with the collaboration of composer José Augusto Mannis.


Thanks to:

Tiago de Oliveira Pinto for inspiring the project

Majoí Gongora, Janete El Haouli and Patricia Boniha for being helpful contacts in Brazil

Gabriel Soares for his translations in Brasilia

Sardes Fernandes Ramos for organizing the trip to the rainforest

Gabriel Gomes for being a trusted guide in the forest.



    • 2022: Lichthaus Kino, Kunstfest Weimar. Cinema presentation with blackscreen and German subtitles. 
    • 2022: Sonic Matter, Radiophonic Mondays, Zurich.  Internet broadcast. 
    • 2022: “Ears have Eyes”, Internet broadcast and Sound Art radio program on CJSW, 90.9 FM, Calgary (10 minute excerpt).
    • 2021: Portuguese Version “Kayapó – O Choro do Chefe Raoní” on Radio UEL FM, Londrina, Brazil. Multiple broadcasts over radio and Internet. Portuguese translation and narration by Janete el Haouli.
      2020: Geräuschkulisse, Hörspiel Festival, Leipzig, Deutschland.
    • 2020: Deutschlandfunk Kultur Berlin. Rebroadcast on the program Klangkunst.
    • 2019: Cinéma Spoutnik, Geneva, Switzerland (cinema presentation with black screen and French subtitles).
    • 2019: Auditorium BNF, Paris, bei den Phonurgia Nova Awards 2019, Frankreich.
    • 2019: Deutschlandfunk Kultur Berlin on the program Klangkunst (German version) 10.05. 2019 / WDR3 Cologne on the program Open Sounds. 13.07. 2019 (English version).