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Dear Dundun Village, - Page 2 - Djembefola - Djembe Forum

For chatting and discussions.
User avatar
By jamsa
#2946
"friendly competition" is not a phrase i can believe in personally. Just because some african teachers didnt have to compete for work. doesnt mean the overall trend in africa and djembe isnt such. im talking about african and non african teachers alike. ive seen bolo enter into "battles" before with moussa traore, for example. during a dance class, and neither of them hit one mark. things could be different than i remember them at dv. its been a few years for me. as far as everyone knowing each other i disagree, there use to be lots of first timers or newer people around who are looking for acceptance. however the thought of creating a space of sharing at dv is the point of my post. could soloist alternate per rounds of lines passing the option to the left. or take two and pass. and if the next player in line was not that advanced that in real time someone could give them a phrase to play for those steps. thats how i was taught,and a lottery that picks players for that class. and or another tent/s.djembe culture isnt getting smaller. how do we prepare for the future while preserving concepts of unity?
User avatar
By jamsa
#2949
this should have been my first post on this issue
much love and respect to all focalizers and family of dundun village, it is a special gathering in a special place with intentions of love and unity.

we have all been blessed by djembe. thanks to west african ballet conception, djembe has found its way into the hearts of the world. making djembe music and dance a viable occupation and potentially an opportunity for a life abroad for west african people.
alot of ballets create extremely competitive atmospheres, as well physical training programs that push members to there limits. creating near super-human performers.
alot of african teachers of djembe music and dance outside of africa, have come to us via ballets. many of them training for ballets since their youth. and some never went to ballets yet were influenced by the "bar"/style, set by ballet players. and some of our teachers are village players. and some are a mix,and still others never played till they left africa.
are we being taught as peers at a ballet level?
in west africa people have the ability to partake in "village style" ceremonies , as well as competitive dance circles.
but do we?
id like to explore ideas of how to bring ceremonial intentions into "out of africa djembe culture"
User avatar
By Dugafola
#2951
i was at that Tamba camp class with Bolo and Moussa. who was teaching dance...djeneba?

all i'll say about competition whether it be friendly or not, if it takes away from musicality and/or the connection with the dance, then it's no good. anyone can get carried away...but if the intention is wrong then the music can suffer.

i don't know anyone in the states who's being taught or trained at an african ballet level. no way. the real ballet way...when you get struck with a stick or a whip when you mess up. or when you don't get to eat food until everyone else has eaten and all you get are scraps and bones. actually i do know someone....who's in guinea right now. he's a dunun player training with a traditional folkloric group. he gets hit on his right hand with a dunun stick when he messes up. and he's actually the best non african traditional dunun player i know.

i've been lucky enough to go to villages and play in ceremonies and fetes...it brings a lot of what i've learned full circle. it's something that i wish everyone can have the opportunity to do. but as far as bringing ceremonial intentions to out of africa djembe culture...what kind do you mean?
User avatar
By jamsa
#2954
im not sure, a trend of social gatherings with guidelines to encourage unity, and possibly redirecting competitive nature. towards perhaps, marking steps. dance classes are great, but isnt it kinda like practicing all the time and never getting in the game. dundun village is such a gathering,minus the guidelines. however its too infrequent to direct a growing culture. what about trends in fri/sat night parties. giving people and the youth options of what partying means. yeah djenba, after the battle maggette sow played both of their phrases with all the marks in between. i love that kid.
User avatar
By bops
#2960
I haven't been to Dundun Village. But I've seen some heavy competition among jembefola in Conakry that was kind of a drag, for me. But for others, it's completely normal and acceptable. It's a complex issue.

Last time I was in Guinea (07), I went to a show with Mbemba Bangoura. It was organized by Sekou Sano, in memory of his father, Kemoko Sano. The show was opened by Boka Junior, followed by a group that was described as Mbemba and friends, made up of Fode Lavia, Dartanyan, and several others. Lastly, Les Merveilles de Guinea performed one of Kemoko Sano's choreographies.

During Mbemba's set, a young jembefola from the neighborhood jumped onstage. Mbem played it cool, gave him a place in the lineup, and invited him to solo with the other guys. Now, this group has no dancers, so the entire show consists of jembe solo after jembe solo. But most of these guys don't really play much; it's mostly pantomime - and playing louder than the other guy. Lavia is an exception - he's a really talented jembe player, and not only does he hit hard, he stretches out a bit more and develops some music when he plays. Otherwise, it pretty quickly descends into a clowning contest, and the crowd loves it. Now, I don't have a problem with pantomime. It's part of the show, part of playing jembe and making people happy. That's when it's done artfully, with moderation. This young guy who jumped up onstage was all about it, in fact he had some pretty elaborate acts worked out that some of the other folas played along with.

OK, so what's the big deal, you ask? I'm getting there. :) During all this, Mbemba is sitting back playing accompaniment. So he waits until it's his turn to step forward. Now, if you're familiar with Mbem's style, you know that he coaxes the jembe. He's got a super sweet sound and phrasing, but not as loud as the young guys. So what does this punk do when Mbemba starts to solo? He's standing behind him, subtly mocking him. And he cuts him off. Mbemba's playing a nice solo, and the guy cuts in and jumps up front. And the crowd loves it. And I was saddened because here's a teacher, a Master in my view, who I respect immensely, and this young Guinean disrespects him. And everyone cheers.

Who am I to tell this guy to respect his elders? He's should know that on his own. But the competition has taken over. For some people, that's what it's all about. It's messed up.
User avatar
By e2c
#2963
During all this, Mbemba is sitting back playing accompaniment. So he waits until it's his turn to step forward. Now, if you're familiar with Mbem's style, you know that he coaxes the jembe. He's got a super sweet sound and phrasing, but not as loud as the young guys. So what does this punk do when Mbemba starts to solo? He's standing behind him, subtly mocking him. And he cuts him off. Mbemba's playing a nice solo, and the guy cuts in and jumps up front. And the crowd loves it. And I was saddened because here's a teacher, a Master in my view, who I respect immensely, and this young Guinean disrespects him. And everyone cheers.

Who am I to tell this guy to respect his elders? He's should know that on his own. But the competition has taken over. For some people, that's what it's all about. It's messed up.
I kind of cringed while reading this, and agree that it's disrespectful.

And (please take this with a grain of salt), I think that this kind of showing off and competitiveness is mostly a "guy thing." (Not that women aren't competitive; we just do it a bit differently. ;))

Question: When you say "the crowd loved it," I can't help wondering who was in the crowd. Africans, Westerners, a mixture of both?
User avatar
By jamsa
#2964
im feeling you bops and its coming to a town near you. however djembe culture here is still young enough to mold .we are the fore fathers/mothers of toubab djembe culture, no?
User avatar
By Dugafola
#2971
bops...
i got that performance you mentioned on dvd. it was kinda stupid...my friend prefaced me watching that spectac by saying this kid was the "hot shit" in guinea and that all the younger 'folas are trying to play like him. i was not impressed. he goes by Jaques Malero(real name Mohammed Sylla) and grew up playing with Lavia, Boka and Mito etc. I think he played in Lavia's dad's Ballet Bassikolo.
i'll say that Kawa was an interesting choice for a bunch of CKY ballet trained drummers to play although the sangbanfola is an apprentice of Fadouba's from Faranah.

here's another video of him playing. kinda not so great, but he tries to bring it to Ba Fode and gets served up imo.

edited to add the right video. the one i posted prior wasn't the one i was thinking of.

this is the right one but it won't embed...

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6h7xf ... i-20_music
Last edited by Dugafola on Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
By Dugafola
#2976
yes...jaques is in yellow with the little drum. fode is in blue with his big IC.
User avatar
By e2c
#2978
Now that I've seen both parts... my opinion hasn't changed. ;) Ba Fode is about the music.

BTW, I really like Mbemba Bangoura's playing, and agree that he's a master. (Though he probably wouldn't say that of himself.)
User avatar
By jamsa
#2990
this website has my head spinning, so i was thinking about how the competition in the event dugafola described. its worked into the show, these are serious djembefolas playing at intense levels.in the past "korejuga" type figures, would be present at most social events, right?
the serious clown is in s.w. american aboriginal culture at many social events. to lighten the mood in the presence of intense ceremony and music. dugafolas story reminds me of korejuga behavior.
could djembefolas now have to fulfill the roll of korejuga?
how would dundun village be effected by a "korejuga"type?
User avatar
By jamsa
#3017
m_f8e00cfeda960b87e2eb74e9358c11a6.jpg
m_f8e00cfeda960b87e2eb74e9358c11a6.jpg (6.81KiB)Viewed 2694 times
this is my greatgrandfather, hypnotist/magician/storyteller. :idea:
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