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Mandenfoli magazine - Djembefola - Djembe Forum

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User avatar
By michi
#12570
There is a new magazine called Mandenfoli that is dedicated to Mandingue music.
couverture.jpg
Mandenfoli Issue 1
couverture.jpg (306.35KiB)Viewed 2746 times
I found the following description of the contents on Andrej's blog:
Judging from the index, the first issue seems like a rough guide to the djembe. It introduces the old and the young djembefolas, writes about history and culture of the Mandinka empire, and there is also a section dedicated to the notations of the rhythms (in this issue the Soli). Finally, what was actually needed in this market, it lists the upcomming events and new albums, videos, etc.
Email folikili@gmail.com for more info.

Cheers,

Michi.
By bubudi
#12573
i'm excited that there's finally a magazine of this kind on the market, but i'm also disappointed.

upcoming albums and videos are great. interviews would be even better. i find most of the material in issue 1 too basic for my liking. there's too much background stuff and it's stuff that people who have been into this music for a while are already fairly familiar with.

the magazine is also in french, so that excludes the majority of djembe players outside of west africa.

how much would you pay to get a magazine in english with the latest news and media reviews, feature interview, notation of a rhythm, exploration of an aspect of mande culture or history, etc? should it be monthly or quarterly?
User avatar
By michi
#12577
how much would you pay to get a magazine in english with the latest news and media reviews, feature interview, notation of a rhythm, exploration of an aspect of mande culture or history, etc? should it be monthly or quarterly?
I wouldn't buy something like that monthly (and I doubt that it would be possible to fill an issue every month). But I'd buy a quarterly magazine, no doubt. $15 would seem reasonable, depending on amount of material. Seeing that I'm not a French speaker, I'd have to have it in English though :)

Are you planning to publish one? ;)

Cheers,

Michi.
By Garvin
#12584
I would personally love a monthly issue (in English) of a magazine like this. I would buy a subscription today. I've been talking with folks in my region about the need and frustration of keeping current with who is where and doing what with whom. I'm sure we all belong to a number of email lists which keep us fairly well informed about classes, workshops, shows etc... But there are tons of things I miss every month, or at least am not even aware of even despite my ability to google the crap out of this subject.

This site is the closest thing I've found to a resource which gets close to something like it. And as much as I love all of you guys, it is just not the same as flipping through a magazine. The videos here are awesome but I would love a glossy three page article getting into all of the minutiae of wood, rope, skin and metal. I could read about this stuff ad nauseum.
User avatar
By e2c
#12586
Independent publishing costs serious $$$ - I have known publishers of specialist music magazines, and I've written for some of those mags in the past. It takes *so* much work to find advertisers, to keep up on that end of things (graphics, ads, bill-paying, etc. etc. etc.).

I have no doubt whatsoever that the folks who are behind Mandenfoli could lose their shirts if this doesn't go over well.

As for the material being "too basic":

1. it's their 1st issue - cut them a break already!!!

2. To work well, a mag like this has to be able to appeal to people who are both outside and inside the interest group - and the latter means players on all levels.

3. If they don't work to market this mag to a wide range of people, its chances of never getting off the ground are increased by, oh... probably a few thousand per cent. ;)

to be really frank, bubudi, I doubt many people would be interested a mag of the kind that you posit - far too specialized to be able to sell to more than a handful of subscribers worldwide. (And no, I'm not joking.) I doubt it would work, financially, that is - far better to try doing it as a website with (maybe) downloadable PDFs of articles. If you want to do it the old school way (on paper), a newsletter should suffice.
Last edited by e2c on Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
By e2c
#12587
Garvin wrote:This site is the closest thing I've found to a resource which gets close to something like it. And as much as I love all of you guys, it is just not the same as flipping through a magazine. The videos here are awesome but I would love a glossy three page article getting into all of the minutiae of wood, rope, skin and metal. I could read about this stuff ad nauseum.
Maybe so, but a magazine can't run the same set of articles in every issue, if you see what I mean.

Special-interest publications have to be able to keep their readers' interest, and that basically implies that there has to be a certain amount of variety from issue to issue.
By bubudi
#12588
my only criticism of mandenfoli was that the first issue is too basic. that is equally as bad as too advanced. obviously one needs to cater for all levels. i don't know how you reached the assumption i was suggesting to cater only for the higher levels. i was merely saying that there needs to be some less basic material in order to better cater for all levels.

i doubt the mandenfoli mob are investing more than their spare time into the mag at this point in time. most advertisers would want to see solid distribution figures over a number of issues before considering putting an ad in a mag.

i'm not going to discuss our plans for a mag here. it's the wrong thread for it and these things take a long time to get off the ground. i was simply trying to get an idea of interest/need and what people are prepared to pay for it.
By Garvin
#12590
e2c wrote: Maybe so, but a magazine can't run the same set of articles in every issue, if you see what I mean.

Special-interest publications have to be able to keep their readers' interest, and that basically implies that there has to be a certain amount of variety from issue to issue.
I understand what you mean, but I think there really is enough material to supply that variety. Gear is obviously easy to look at, but I understand that the interest or ability to write that article may lose momentum. But think of all of the various avenues that one could go down with this subject.

1. Travel - Where are the safe places to go? What may be worth skipping. Travel tips for those interested in djembe vs. kora etc... All of the peripheral geographic and historic sites which make a music based journey different from a biking tour of France for instance.

2. Feature articles on bands, whether traditional or contemporary. There are tons of bands whose paths into or out of West African music may be an interesting read to those of us who play multiple instruments, or fantasize about integrating West African music into our other projects.

3. Recording - Gear, tips, history. How has this music been recorded. how do we record it? How should it be preserved? Do's and don'ts of recording classes whether video, audio etc... Who controls the preservation of the music? How should we treat this?

4. Interviews - There are tons of players, teachers, students and any number of people in between who are trying to integrate their love of this music and culture into their own modern lives. Many people make a living at doing this. I don't think there is any limit to the amount of valuable information that may be shared through the telling of ones own story. Particularly the journey that many of our teachers have made from West Africa out into their current lives wherever in the world they may be.

5. Drum and Dance communities - Monthly feature on a given group in any city large or small. How do we continue to keep these scenes growing and how do we present this to the communities that we are a part of?

I could keep listing ideas, but I guess my point is that the subject, even in its specificity is extremely broad, and the culture and music continues to grow and evolve, providing a perpetual well of subjects for us to read and write about.

EDIT:::: Sorry for straying far from the topic. I just really like the idea of a magazine like this. I agree there needs to be balance. I often experience a serious hole in the content of the drum magazines which I subscribe to. They tend to cater a lot more towards pop music and metal drummers. They try, but there obviously must be broad appeal to sell these things.
User avatar
By the kid
#12591
Looks like a pretty cool magazine to me although i haven't read it yet .. :lol:
I think its a great idea.
Any ways hopefully there'll be more to come and the guys will translate it to english.

Photography looks top notch from the cover.
bubudi wrote:the magazine is also in french, so that excludes the majority of djembe players outside of west africa.
Surely french people and any one else who speaks even a little french will enjoy it

And do you think the djembeplayers in w Africa are looking for a djembe magazine. I would say this is aimed at euro etc students of djembe rather than guys from w Africa.
User avatar
By e2c
#12599
bubudi wrote:i'm excited that there's finally a magazine of this kind on the market, but i'm also disappointed...upcoming albums and videos are great. interviews would be even better. i find most of the material in issue 1 too basic for my liking. there's too much background stuff and it's stuff that people who have been into this music for a while are already fairly familiar with.
Background stuff is exactly what I think one would expect in a 1st issue. (I haven't seen it, so can't comment on the content, but I do feel that you're being a bit harsh...)
the magazine is also in french, so that excludes the majority of djembe players outside of west africa.
Well... like the kid says, there are lots of djembe players whose 1st language is French; equally, lots of teachers. (And I'm sure the publishers are aiming for a European market, as the kid also pointed out.) It's probably a lot easier to start off in a language that the owners and writers are familiar with than in one that they're not - and translation costs $$$ and is more difficult than it might seem - until one does it. Anything with specialized terminology can be full of pitfalls that aren't that obvious until you start the work. (Don't want to go into details here and make this about me, but I have helped out with this kind of work and it is hard, even when everyone is fluent in both the original language and the language into which the material is being translated.)
i don't know how you reached the assumption i was suggesting to cater only for the higher levels. i was merely saying that there needs to be some less basic material in order to better cater for all levels.
From the quotes above as well as posts with unsourced info. I understand that you are interested in many things - so am I - but there are times that I feel like some aspects of this board are a bit overspecialized and somewhat forbidding to people who are new to both W. African percussion music and the djembe. That is not meant personally; I think it is important to stand back a bit and look at things from other perspectives, though...

Again, though (to bring this back to Mandenfoli), I have not seen this mag, so I can't comment on it further.
User avatar
By michi
#12602
I don't get why these people chose a paper magazine for this. That's a singularly ill-matched medium for music. Besides, production and distribution costs are sky-high. If anything, I would publish this as an e-book, so it can be read on a computer, archived easily, searched and indexed easily, etc. Moreover, you now can have all the sound clips, video, and other interactive content you want. This way, production and distribution costs are way down, and you get a more useful magazine.

The future of magazine publishing is electronic, and it will happen mostly on devices such as the iPad. Thats particularly true for anything related to performing arts.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By e2c
#12609
michi wrote:I don't get why these people chose a paper magazine for this. That's a singularly ill-matched medium for music. Besides, production and distribution costs are sky-high. If anything, I would publish this as an e-book, so it can be read on a computer, archived easily, searched and indexed easily, etc. Moreover, you now can have all the sound clips, video, and other interactive content you want. This way, production and distribution costs are way down, and you get a more useful magazine.

The future of magazine publishing is electronic, and it will happen mostly on devices such as the iPad. Thats particularly true for anything related to performing arts.
Agreed, michi.

Unless they intend to concentrate on publishing photos, it does seem a bit foolish...
By bubudi
#12614
the kid wrote:And do you think the djembeplayers in w Africa are looking for a djembe magazine. I would say this is aimed at euro etc students of djembe rather than guys from w Africa.
precisely my point. so that pretty much targets france, part of belgium, parts of switzerland and of course quebec (perhaps also a few small places like new caledonia).
the kid wrote:any one else who speaks even a little french will enjoy it
it's hard to read a mag in a language you don't speak and read well. even if you can hold a bit of conversation in french, it's a far cry from reading a french publication. some who have some french skills and want to improve them may appreciate this challenge, and i kind of fall into this category but i would still rather read in english as i simply don't have the time - it can take me 10 times as long to read and understand an article in french.
e2c wrote:From the quotes above as well as posts with unsourced info. I understand that you are interested in many things - so am I - but there are times that I feel like some aspects of this board are a bit overspecialized and somewhat forbidding to people who are new to both W. African percussion music and the djembe.
that is your opinion, e2c. i could point to many threads where people are talking about things that have nothing to do with djembe or djembe music, or are talking about using djembe in non-traditional situations or with their own non-traditional techniques. we are careful to include people from all walks of life on this board. however, when people ask for the real scoop on traditional djembe culture, a lot of people on this board feel obligated to represent it properly, to the best of their ability. if you feel that's an issue that is 'forbidding' to people who are new to the territory, then feel free to raise it in another thread. i'd be interested to look at any strategies you might have towards overcoming this issue.
e2c wrote:It's probably a lot easier to start off in a language that the owners and writers are familiar with than in one that they're not - and translation costs $$$ and is more difficult than it might seem - until one does it.
yes, i agree. i wasn't criticising them for producing a french-only publication, i was more pointing out the need for an english one!
michi wrote:I don't get why these people chose a paper magazine for this.
michi, the e-publishing idea still doesn't wash with many people. 2 decades down the track, e-books still haven't taken off as predicted. i for one don't want to spend even more time in front of a computer reading an e-mag, when i can take a paper mag to the beach or wherever i want and read it without needing to worry about reception, battery time on a laptop (which i don't even have), etc. i also find the frequencies of hum from computers tiring after a while. i like to keep my computer time to a minimum.

i've run into dozens of people who feel the same way and who subscribe to or regularly buy music mags. to quote garvin further up in this thread:
Garvin wrote:This site is the closest thing I've found to a resource which gets close to something like it. And as much as I love all of you guys, it is just not the same as flipping through a magazine. The videos here are awesome but I would love a glossy three page article getting into all of the minutiae of wood, rope, skin and metal. I could read about this stuff ad nauseum.
this also reminds me of the debate between vinyl and cds and audio downloads. part of the vinyl appeal is the generation gap, part is the warmer sound it has, part is the ability to have a 'hard copy' - a real object - to show for your money, that you can stick in the player.

i posted a free ebook in the media section. judging by the small number of reads and even smaller number of downloads, ebooks aren't a popular choice on this board. of course, a second possibility crossed my mind: that west african folktales might not be so popular a subject, but when it comes to getting something for free that has relevance to what people here are generally interested in... i'd have to say i'm leaning more towards the first possibility.
michi wrote:This way, production and distribution costs are way down, and you get a more useful magazine.
there are some definite advantages to e-publishing, but 'more useful' is in the eye of the beholder. if someone likes reading on paper, an e-mag or e-book would not be very useful to them.

here's another question for you: if you're prepared to pay $15-$20 for a quarterly english paper mag of this kind, would you be happy to pay the same amount for an e-mag? i suspect most people would expect it to be a lot cheaper. therefore i suspect that your idea of e-publishing allowing you to do more per issue with less is, for the moment, not actualised in practice. it probably will be some years down the track...
michi wrote:The future of magazine publishing is electronic, and it will happen mostly on devices such as the iPad. Thats particularly true for anything related to performing arts.
you're probably right there, but this change is taking place much slower than expected and i reckon paper publications will still have their place for a good number of years ahead. who knows, it could be that e-publishing will suddenly get a rise a couple of years from now, but it will take time for people to warm to it (much like cd's took time and cassettes and vinyl were still dominating the shops for a while).
User avatar
By e2c
#12619
As for e-publishing... well, the better music bloggers have (imo) proved that this is the leading edge. Many print magazines (music and other subjects) have a significant online presence - even complete archives of the magazines (like The New Yorker) are available to subscribers (both online only and those who get print copies).

The newspaper business in the US has nearly gone belly-up over the past 2 years. Many major dailies have closed down - partly due to economic problems, but mainly due to the gap between print and internet. Online news publishing is pretty much where things are going... I'd actually go so far as to say that they've actually been there for a while, but sometimes publishers are slow to grasp the advantages. (Likewise with the music industry, though generally not with the smaller labels...)

The lead time is so much less, for one thing: reviews (of CDs, DVDs, books, films etc.) can be posted as soon as copy is filed, rather than holding it and doing all formatting required for print...

My personal feeling is this: I love books, and always will, yet I split my time now between hard copy and an e-reader, and see huge advantages in both. The internet is my go-to for news and weather, and for a lot of other kinds of things - there *are* successful online mags covering quite a range of territory. (And having a search function for archived articles makes things *so* much simpler than having to go to periodical indices or ordering back issues or...)

I think the boundaries between "print" and online publication have been pretty blurry for at least 5 years now, and are morphing at an incredible rate.

Would I want to put time and money into a new print mag? No. But a website, with associated blogs and listenable/watchable/downloadable material - now that's a different thing.

For years I struggled with trying to somehow describe lots of different kinds of non-Western music in words alone, wishing I could add sound samples for the readers. It took a lot less time for things to get to the point where both could be done than I'd ever have dreamt possible. The same kinds of things are happening with e-ink and related technologies, not to mention e-reading devices. E-ink works - I don't care if it's only b&w at this point! Reading on a screen that's not backlit is so much easier than reading on a computer screen... but I digress.
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