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By Michel
#32557
I really don't know what would be a typical Wassoulou style. When I asked Sidiki Camara about it he talked about the small djembe's with a didadi dunun and a kono-singer in stead of a griot. But a rhythm as wassolonka (n'gri) is never played that way. And you'll find a lot of Malinke people in Wassoulou, who are supposed to play malinke style. Just to mention my confusion.
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By e2c
#32565
Michel wrote:I really don't know what would be a typical Wassoulou style. When I asked Sidiki Camara about it he talked about the small djembe's with a didadi dunun and a kono-singer in stead of a griot. But a rhythm as wassolonka (n'gri) is never played that way. And you'll find a lot of Malinke people in Wassoulou, who are supposed to play malinke style. Just to mention my confusion.
I'm confused, too, but as long as I can hear music from Mali, I'm confused in a happy way. ;)
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By foxleg
#32640
I received my copy of the new CDs this week, and I have to say they are both awesome, the quality (in my opinion) of the recording is awesome, the sounds amazing and the playing, well, what can you say it's Sega Sidibe and team.... highly recommended and Rutger it would be great if you could make this more readily available :)
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By Dugafola
#33984
e2c wrote:I think of Sega as playing in a way that comes from Wasulu, though maybe I'm incorrect in making that assumption about *all* of his work - ???

Point taken on Karim. In general, I prefer Mali-style djembe technique to the Guinea styles I've been around, but that's a matter of personal taste, not aesthetic value.
i haven't heard the new disc, but sega rolls more than any other malian 'fola i've heard with the exception of sarr and petit adama. but those guys could be Sega's grandchildren.
By JSB
#34024
There is indeed a Wasulun "style", but it's not a question of orchestration.

In addition to the singers, some rhythms like Didadi and Jagwewara are played with two djembes, a kenkeni and a didadidunun (also called bari), others like Sogoninkun or Sigi are played with two djembes and a dunun, Sofile (pronounced Sofle) with 2 djembes, one dunun and a flute.
N'grinba, the typical and famous Wasulun rhythm (Wasulunka), was played originally with only two djembes (which explains the name Jenbe ni Je - that could be translated as "clear djembe").
(the accompanying djembe changes according to what the soloist plays; I heard once Sega play it that way: it's beautiful, but both djembefola must know what they're doing! hard to teach and even more to learn...)
Then the dunun was added, and it only played the four beats. The dunun part that everyone knows (ti-tin . ta . ti-tin . ta . ta .) that can be heard in the djembe phrase is a more recent addition.

What defines Wasulun style is two things: language and History.
All the regional variations in the instruments, tunings, phrases, that can be observed have one explanation: they reproduce the tones of the spoken language. Khassonka dunun are built, tuned and used in a way that matches the Khassonka language (which is a mix of bamanan, soninke,...).
Malinke language sounds different than Bamanan, that's why there's usually more slaps in the malinke phrases than in the bamanan phrases which use more tones.
Wasulun is at a crossroad between the Malinke area to the west and the Bamanan area to the north. Moreover, it has been populated (conquered) by Fulani people who settled down, adopting a sedentary way of life and many local pre-existing traditions (language, music instruments,...) for several centuries.
But they also kept specific Fulani cultural elements.

If You listen to Fula don, You will hear where N'Grinba comes from.
Sega often says that djembe playing must not be heavy. In Wasulun, they consider that the drums must sound like string instruments. Listen to the Donso Ngoni, and to its modern development, the Kamalen Ngoni, You will hear many double notes (flams) that You will also find in the djembe.
Another aspect of the Fulani spirit is the "tricky" way of playing: there are many intermediate sounds, very subtle variations, special fingering, which make it really hard to figure out what has just been played and how it was done, on purpose.

So, there are rolls in the Wasulun djembe, even in the accompaniment.
ta . . ta-ta . ti-ti-ta . . ta-ta . ti-ti-ta ... is played
ta . . ta-ta . tikidita . . ta-ta . tikidita ...

So, although the rhythms played in this recording are not from Wasulun except for the third part of Woloso (Sega recorded another album dedicated to Wasulun rhythms), they are played in his style.
What does that mean?

Sega often compares the rhythm to a person. As a student, You first must be able to present this person, i.e., You must know the traditional phrases, which will make the rhythm identifiable, support the songs, mark the dance steps.

Then You will learn to dress that person by adding variations, shiftings, rolls, "amusement".
Of course, these clothes are not meant to hide the person, they're here to embellish its presence.

And then, if You're able to provide a pair of shoes and a hat, that will be marvellous!

So that's how I would describe Sega Sidibe's playing: a profound and demanding respect for the tradition and its meaning, beautifully dressed from head to toe.
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By Michel
#34026
JSB who are you? You seem to know quite a lot about it! Thanks for your great post.
Malinke language sounds different than Bamanan, that's why there's usually more slaps in the malinke phrases than in the bamanan phrases which use more tones.
That is exactly how I felt it, like I hear a lot of excited wolof-speaking in sabar.... But are these facts? You could also tell on the basis of more colorful clothing and different hair dress that the music is different, or looking at for example the landscape. I'm wondering!
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By djembefeeling
#34030
Michel wrote:JSB who are you? You seem to know quite a lot about it! Thanks for your great post.
Indeed, the post suggests you have profound knowledge of these matters. Would be nice to get to know you better...