For chatting and discussions.
By Paul
#35541
Hi,

I'm in the early stages of a process to apply for a professional development award to go study Kamele and Donso n'goni. Whilst I am sure there are many great players out there I believe it would be a lot easier for me if I had contact with a player with a significant discography. In this case the application is based to a significant degree on proving the teachers calibre as well as my own.

I would ideally like to get in touch with Adama Coulibaly and Sibiri Samake, though i'm open to suggestion. I don't even know if they take students or where they will be. Any suggestions on how I might contact them or any alternatives greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Paul
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By Michel
#35542
Hi Paul,

This guy teaches in the workshop of Sidiki Camara. I'm sure Sidiki will be able to get you in touch. He is a donso, Adama Sidibe. I can't wait to return to Mali to learn the kamelen'goni Malian style myself. So much more intense then the style like they play in Burkina, where they treat the instrument like a kora.

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxdT4zNrB8Q[/video]

Good luck.
By Paul
#35545
Thanks for that Michel. I haven't studied in Mali yet. I learnt everything in Burkina. There I found quite a distinction between kamele and donso playing. Kamele is a modern instrument in my understanding created to escape the confines of having to be a griot or a donso initiate. In that sense the style is different and there are plenty of people like djembe players who play for the fun. I think that was the idea of the instrument. My own teacher was a griot and very good on both mandingue and bobo balafon (he had a 14 string kamele). In that sense I understand what you mean about playing like a kora, lots of fast scales etc.. which I suppose is how I play. In my experience the donso in Burkina didnt seem too keen on teaching westerners, because it was pure culture. I think a lot of what I play is fairly modern really. Perhaps there are more donsos who have gone into kamele in mali due to the more widespread use in wassalou music, maybe they are adapting donso tunes and just going up to 8 string to get more range....

Well its all great to me. I see a big difference between the likes of sibiri samake and vieux kante and abou diarra, the latter who have serious background in donso, but also in pop and the new crazy styles with loads of harmonics.. Its all fascinating to me, and I will be like a kid in a candy store. I have just recorded my first EP on kamele n'goni with my group which is something I would like to keep working on. I think I would be too afraid to record some of that donso stuff, its like a wild animal. I think they will inhabit separate parts of life.

Cheers

Paul
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By Michel
#35547
Paul wrote:
In that sense I understand what you mean about playing like a kora, lots of fast scales etc..
I meant that in my opinion a 'real' kamelen'goni is a 8-string instrument that you play holding the instrument diagonally, playing one hand low, and the other high on the strings. And the tune is quite low, which makes it more possible to pull the strings (like Mark King of Level 42...) Like donso's play the donso n'goni. This is the way the instrument is played in Mali, listen to Oumou Sangaré and Salif Keita. In Burkina they play an other version, with more strings (sometimes up to 16) and holding the instrument upright. But both versions came from the same donso n'goni, restricted for playing only by donsolu for the sacred magic qualities of the instrument, while the youth (kamele, I've been told, in Malinke/Bamana) had the need for an instrument like that for playing on their parties and celebrations.
I think that is the story, correct me if I'm wrong.

I just saw that the workshop of Sidiki Camara is postponed to 2016, because of Ebola... Poor Malians. But I'm sure Sidiki is going to Mali and able to arrange things for you when you contact him. He's on facebook and all.
By Paul
#35548
Haha, never noticed the kamele ngoni in level 42.. I will do a cover of red red wine :D

Yes, I know what you mean about the playing. Its kind of hard to play diagonal with 10 or more strings. I do a mix. For example if i play faso denou i play vertical or when I do solos, or now when I start to do harmonics. If im playing grooves i play diagonal.
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By Michel
#35549
Paul wrote:
Haha, never noticed the kamele ngoni in level 42.. I will do a cover of red red wine :D
It's actually the bass player of Level 42 who pulls the strings with his thumb like donso's play their n'goni. And red red wine is by UB40. But he, it's a forum about djembe drumming. So why bother. Have fun with your n'goni playing!