In 2003, I attended a men's gathering where a group of men congregated in the Australian bush for a few days to talk about men's issues. There were various personal development workshops, ceremonies, yoga, singing, sports, dancing, meditation—you name it. One thing that is popular at such gatherings is drumming and, at this particular event, a group of Australians were (skilfully) playing Mandingue rhythms with a full dundun and djembe ensemble. I remember listening and being absolutely fascinated by the richness of the music, and by its depth and complexity. It was like no other music I'd ever heard before. Whenever there was drumming, I was there to listen and feel the music.
At the gathering, the musicians passed around flyers for an African concert that was taking place a few weeks later, and I decided to go along. As it turned out, Epizo Bangoura performed with the ensemble there, and I got to hear a master djembefola for the first time. This was the most jaw-dropping musical experience o...
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Last edited by michi on Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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I've been thinking of writing down this story for about three years. Both for my own sake, because I think it is useful to reflect on the past, but also because I think other people might find something here that will touch them. This is a very personal account of why the djembe matters to me and why I continue to pursue Mandingue music. Mine is only one story out of thousands; the djembe has many ways to teach what people need to learn…
My name is Michi, and I live in Brisbane, Australia. I'm 50 years old now, and I've been drumming for six years—with a passion. The way I found the djembe is tied up with my upbringing and life as an adult, and with my journey from music to science and back.
Music and the performing arts were a big part of my early life. I was born and raised in Germany as the son of a professional musician. I grew up literally swimming in music and was recognised as musically gifted from an early age. I played harmonica by the time I was three, picked out simple tun...
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Last edited by michi on Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:41 am, edited 3 times in total.
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