Blog Stats
70Total Entries
106Total Comments
Search Blogs

Feed Random Blog Entries
A Year in the Life of a Djembe Addict by EvanP on Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:50 pm
I'm Evan and I'm a djembe addict.

It's been a little over a year since I not only learned what a djembe is, but how to spell it, how to play it (sometimes/mostly), at least names/locations of 25% of the countries in Africa, and about 2% of their culture.

In January I had the opportunity to attend a Mamady Keita workshop. Although I didn't meet the minimum requirement of 1 year of experience, my teacher requested an exception for me and Ali/Mamady approved. All of the superlatives are trite and overused, but it blew my mind. I learned so much, not just about drumming and rhythms, but about pedagogy. Mamady is the best teacher of anything I've ever had. He was able, in a class of 40-50 people, to connect individually with each of us, offering encouragement and pushing to our limits (but not beyond). An added bonus was an amazing party after the second class at a local Cuban musician's house for a rumba. The energy and music was fantastic, and it was great seeing Mamady play conga...

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 12831 times
Mini-Guinea Singapore, Sep 2010, Day 5-6 by michi on Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:03 am
Day 5:

Jeremy did his djembe re-skinning demonstration and also gave an intersting talk about the different types of wood that are traditionally used and their respective characteristics. He also talked about the importance of matchintg the skin to the type of wood. Intersting stuff...

For the reskinning, he used a stitching method to hold the skin tight over the flesh ring instead of the rope loop method I've been using. I can see how the stitching will achieve somewhat higher tension on the skin when it is wet, before doing the wet pull. But then, the method is more labor intensve, and I'm not sure it's worth the extra effort. I think I will stick with my tried and true method for the time being.

Another thing that came as a surprise to me was that he did not use any wrap at all on the flesh ring. In fact, Jeremy claimed that doing so makes it more likely rather than less likely for the skin to slip.

This doesn't match my own experience, but I can see that wrapping too thinly around...

[ Continued ]

5 Comments Viewed 133879 times
Rusty Eklund Workshop by mandinka323 on Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:30 pm
I just wanted to comment that I attended a wonderful workshop with Rusty Eklund, on Saturday, 4/26/14. It was very well done. We worked on Suku, Wolosso and Numu Foly. Rusty was very patient and clear in his explanations, and did much to teach us a lot in a short period. I recommend attending one of his workshops to all, and if you have the chance to study with him, regardless of your skill level, he will find ways to challenge you and to expand your knowledge-base of djembe drumming.

1 Comment Viewed 5927 times
Mini-Guinea San Diego, May 2010, day 6 by michi on Wed May 05, 2010 10:26 pm
Day 6 (Monday) of the camp.

Mamady has split the class into advanced and intermediate groups. There are eleven people (some not so advanced) in the advanced group.

The intermediates started on a rhythm called Deniya, composed by Mamady. Deniya means "youth" or "childhood". Mamady spoke quite a bit about his childhood, how he was taken away at age 12 to join the (not yet formed) Ballet Djoliba, and how he missed his family and village. Reading between the lines, there was a lot of pain and sadness in him in those days, and Mamady himself said that there is a large part of childhood that he missed out on. The rhythm is a 6/8 where the djembe accompaniments start on the last (3rd) micro-pulse before the 1 and the 3. Some of the intermediates where struggling mightily with feeling that right, endlessly pushing the first note onto the pulse...

The advanced group did the solo for Soliwulen. It's the same solo as on Mamady's volume 4 DVD. Soliwulen is a mask dance that is...

[ Continued ]

0 Comments Viewed 89948 times
Forokoroba - Looking for info on this rhythm by on Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:35 pm
Nov 2013, in Guinea, I learned a dance to a rhythm called Forokoroba. After asking my teachers to say it repeatedly, that is how I believe it is spelled ... or at least sounds like it's spelled. I was told it is a Malinke welcoming and celebration rhythm. They likened it to a Yankadi, a happy, feel good "swingy" rhythm. I can not find any history or drum notation on it. I have found a few work shop videos of it being taught in dance classes in France. Can anyone provide me with more information on Forokoroba? Thank you.

0 Comments Viewed 2315 times

Who is online

Registered users: Google [Bot], neuroanimal, Yahoo [Bot]