1 year since I joined
on Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:52 pm
I've never made a blog entry.
It has past a year since I joined. I started taking classes more or less at the same time. Took also two workshops (2 days each, though), with Baba Touré and Fode Bangoura.
I directed a play this November where I played djembe with 2 colleages of mine (on the dunduns that I managed to buy). Starting on the 2nd phase of that project this January, premiere the 23th February, on a major theatre here in Lisbon. Shakespeare and west african percussion...
All that I can and want to say is that this site, and mainly this forum, has made me grow a lot. Getting to know artists that I didn't, new rhythms, staying in touch with the feeling and the passion when classes stopped. The cultural and knowledge exchange, the shared passion and ingenuity.
Thank you all.
One Letter in front of the Other
on Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:52 am
I've never blogged. To be totally honest, I'm not sure I'm comfortable writing a diary on the 'net, but thought I'd give it a shot. We'll see where it goes.
I'd never heard of a djembe 6 weeks ago. My journey began with a present for a friend, and in the few hours between when I purchased the drum and gave the present, I got hooked.
I've now got two instructors, a quickly growing MP3, CD, and DVD library of Western African music. Oh, and a beautiful lengke drum that sometimes makes amazing sounds (when my technique allows), and always makes me smile.
Right now I'm struggling with rhythms. My western ears and brain really struggle to make sense of the rhythms. The challenge started, however, with making the right noises.
My first challenge was the slap. Bass and tones were pretty easy, but I just couldn't get my fingertips to sting the way they should. Then I hit one. Then another after many failed attempts. Now I'm slapping with ease, but not liking the sound of my tones.... [ Continued ]
Aha! so THAT'S who I am, I'd forgotten!
on Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:02 pm
This is totally self-indulgent, but also a nice space to log what I'm doing drum-wise, and keep me on track if I drift... Right now, I'm smiling - five years ago, I stopped full-time self-employment teaching West African drums, to work in a school and hold down the mortgage while my partner stepped out into his own bliss. Made redundant a month ago, finishing end of June - and feel like I'm putting back my own skin
So this is the Easter break, and I'm going through all the notation, recordings and notes I have on my computer, reminding myself of stuff I've not looked at for far too long, and remembering who I really am.
Have booked myself in for a weekend in May with Seckou Keita, to play dunun for friends' workshops at Drum Camp, and am figuring out how I can get back into enough work to get me to Mali within the next 18 months - went to Sangbarala with Famoudou Konate a couple of years ago, but... [ Continued ]
Teaching Youth the Djembe
on Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:13 am
I recently started sharing the little I know about playing Djembe with youth’s ages 8 to 11. It is challenging to hold their attention but so rewarding when I see the youngsters 'get it'. I am motivated to share with the youth because to me the future of maintaining the integrity of the traditional West African rhythms is in found in the hearts, minds and spirits of youth inclined to view West African rhythms as important. Trouble is even for the ones that demonstrate a strong connection with the rhythm they must divide their attention with the computers, cell phones and I-pods. I am introducing this topic because I would like to hear stories of teachers of the rhythms, to especially the youth. What are your experiences your triumphs and techniques used to effectively reach the youth?
Bolokada Conde invites you to Guinea this Dec.!
on Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:14 pm
It brings me great pleasure to invite you to BOLOKADA CONDE's trip & workshop intensive in Guinea this December, 2013 !!
The trip is one of the Bolokada's most ambitious -- 21+ days of daily drum & dance classes, and tours in Conakry and three villages. Drummers will dive into full-sensory and immersed master classes on all drums, technique, solo and accompaniment, rhythms, songs, and folklore. Dancers will study with director of Ballet Soleil d'Afrique Ibrahim Sory Camara, one of Guinea’s greatest choreographers.
Clean accommodation, tasty food, drums, and in-country transport are provided, not to mention awesome fellowship with Bolokada's family, friends, and students !! Flights are about $1,500. The trip is $1,800 for 3 weeks. Bolokada invites professionals, master students, teachers, performers, and enthusiasts from across the globe for this amazing experience. [Trip website: http://www.trip2guinea.com/
... [ Continued ]