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Mini-Guinea San Diego, May 2010, day 8 by michi on Wed May 05, 2010 10:56 pm
Day 8 (Wednesday) of the camp.

The intermediate group continued to work on Deniya, including three different breaks, which took up most of the session. Towards the end, Mamady demonstrated the parts for a new 4/4 rhythm called Balandugu Sila. The rhythm was inspired by the trip to Balandugu where Mamady did a pyramid with his students. (If you buy a copy of the volume 4 DVD, there is a great documentary in the bonus material about that trip. Also, listen to Taylor's interview, where he tells a few stories about the horror trip they had to get there. It took forever due to bad roads and technical problems with the cars.) The intermediates will start learning this rhythm tomorrow.

The advanced group finished off Yankadi. At the end of the session, Mamady improvised to Yankadi, which was a joy to listen to. Technically quite simple phrases, but they are placed "just so" and flow out with...

[ Continued ]

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Epizo's camp 2011 by michi on Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:18 am
I attended last week's camp with Epizo Bangoura at Bent's Basin.

This was the first (and probably only) time the camp was held there. Normally, it happens at the Bundagen eco community near Coffs Harbour, but that venue wasn't available this year. Bent's Basin is a state conservation area with a large park, camp sites, and an education centre (basically a large hall) where we did our drumming and dancing.

Because Bent's Basin is twelve hour's drive from Brisbane, I wasn't planning to attend—too far to drive and, because of the camping-only accommodation, pretty much impossible to do by flying. Fortunately, Matt, a drumming mate of mine, rang a few days before the camp and offered to pick me up from Sydney airport and let me sleep in his van, so I decided to attend on short notice.

The camp ran from Monday to Thursday. Only four days this time instead of the usual seven, mostly due to the change of venue. (Quite a number of people had already bought tickets to the Bellingen Carnival, w...

[ Continued ]

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Why the djembe matters to me (Part 1) by michi on Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:19 am
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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Boka Cd by djembesoul101 on Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:31 pm
do anybody know where I can find Boka cd ?

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Drumming under water by michi on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:32 am
Well, here I am in Queensland (the Sunshine State), and three quarters of the state have been declared a disaster area. The recent floods are the worst natural disaster in Australia's history (in extent, not in terms of loss of life fortunately).

Queensland is a large state. To give you an idea how large, take Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. All together, they are not quite as large as Queensland. You need to add Massachusetts and Connecticut to make up the difference. Or, if you want to put it differently, Queensland is has almost exactly 20% of the land area of the entire United States. Three quarters of that are flooded or severely affected by flood.

Queensland has experienced very serious losses of crops and livestock. Infrastructure is seriously damaged everywhere. Roads, bridges, water supply, electricity, communications, etc. It is difficult to ensure supply of essential goods to many areas that are cut off by the floods. Supermarkets are low or empty...

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