July 3, 1954|
Newark, New Jersey, United States
April 1, 2017 (aged 62)|
Teaneck, New Jersey
|Nationality||United States and Central African Republic|
Louis Sarno (July 3, 1954 – April 1, 2017) was an American musicologist and author. In the mid-1980s he made field recordings of the music of a Bayaka Pygmy clan while living among them in the forests of the Central African Republic. Sarno lived in the CAR for more than 20 years, and held a dual citizenship there and in the United States. He documented some of his experiences in his memoir, Song from the Forest: My Life Among the Pygmies (2015), which Geoff Wisner included in his survey work A Basket of Leaves: 99 Books That Capture the Spirit of Africa.
Louis Sarno was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. In 1985 he went to Africa to record the music of a pygmy tribe. He "combined recordings of Bayakan music with sounds of their surrounding environment into a two-CD/book package entitled Bayaka: The Extraordinary Music of the Babenzélé Pygmies (Ellipsis Arts).
Louis Sarno married a Bayakan woman and they had sons.
The documentary film Song from the Forest, by German director Michael Obert, tells Sarno's life story. The film premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2013 where it was honored with the Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary. A movie based on Sarno's life called Oka! was released in 2011 (in the Aka language, oka means "listen").
- Swains, Howard (April 18, 2015). "Inside the World of Louis Sarno, the Pygmy Chief From New Jersey". Newsweek. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- Sarno, Louis (April 25, 2014). Louis Sarno 5 (video). Doug Spencer. Retrieved 2018-02-13 – via YouTube.
- Geoff Wisner (2008). A basket of leaves: 99 books that capture the spirit of Africa. Jacana Media. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-77009-206-8.
- Louis Sarno Archived October 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., an interview by Deni Kasrel. Philadelphia City Paper, June 13–20, 1996.
- Young, Neil (November 23, 2013). "Song From the Forest: IDFA Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- Kohn, Eric (April 6, 2015). "In 'Song From the Forest,' Louis Sarno Joins a Pygmy Tribe, Starts a Family and Returns to New York". IndieWire. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- Macnab, Geoffrey (November 29, 2013). "Song From The Forest wins at IDFA". ScreenDaily. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
- "Song From the Forest wins IDFA Award". International Documentary Filmfestival Amersterdam. Archived from the original on 2015-02-12. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- "Louis J. Sarno, Age 62". The Hunterdon County News. April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.