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Siaka, an African Musician - Djembefola - Djembe Forum

CDs, books and DVDs
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  • 7 posts
By bubudi
#13986
found this documentary by hugo zemp about a griot who played with soungalo coulibaly. filmed in bouake, ivory coast, while soungalo was still alive, this documentary goes for 79 min and there are 2 bonus tracks - a 9 minute interview of soungalo coulibaly and 10 minutes of bonus footage of soungalo, siaka and group playing at a wedding. this film was released in 2005. you can buy it for $50 USD (incl. shipping), from the link below.

Siaka Diabaté is a musician at Bouaké, the second largest town in the Côte d'Ivoire. Through his mother's family he is Sénufo, but through his father's ancestry he considers himself a Mande griot. He is a multi-talented professional musician, and for the local festivals plays five instruments: the Senufo and Maninka balafons, the kora harp, the dundun drum and the electric guitar. This film shows Siaka playing in the group led by Soungalo Coulibaly before his death in 2004, including the use of jembe drums, which we also see being made.

Using long continuous shots that give priority to the music and to what Siaka and Soungalo have to say, this documentary introduces the audience to a fascinating world of urban music that incorporates traditional songs and dances by griots. Shot on site a few weeks before rising of civil war, during various festivities, this film presents a living portrait of this lovable and highly skilled musician working in a traditional environment, adding another dimension to the pleasure of seeing and hearing him during his international tours.
The film follows Siaka closely as he plays at different festivities and rehearsals. The flow of the film is magnificent in these scenes. There is a feeling of floating and living in the moment of the sequences. No pressure is felt and the camera is clearly at the heart of the action. ...There is an easiness of communication between the researcher and his informants.
-Aleksi Oksanen, director of In the Blood: Portrait of a Griot

http://www.der.org/films/siaka-african-musician.html
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By James
#15335
Damn, I typed a big reply to this on my phone and lost it...

I wouldn't buy this DVD for the Soungalo content. There's about 2 mins of him playing and the sound isn't the best for this part.

There is a lot of face time with him though, and I feel like I know a bit more about the man that Soungalo was, and how they did business in Bouke at that time.

He was very fond of Siaka and Siaka is now running his groups in Bouke. According to the DVD (dunno how up to date that is).

The focus of the DVD is very much on Siaka himself who is an excellent musician.

To get a 50% discount on this DVD you need to phone DER directly and mention djembefola.com.

I will write more of a review when I have the time.

James
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