bubudi wrote:it obviously takes a lot of time to teach each rhythm to the whole group, even in an advanced class. all the teachers who turn up to mamady's workshops are obviously at various levels in terms of playing ability and the speed and accuracy in which they pick things up. i'd say letting them record the parts to work on in their own time allows them to come back later (e.g. following year) and learn those same rhythms properly at a more level rate.
I think that's pretty much the intent, as well as passing on more rhythms. I guess it really is much the same as if I buy one of Mamady's teaching CDs or DVDs--I get sangban, kenkeni, kenkeni + sangban, dundunba, dundunba + kenkeni + sangban, accompaniment 1, accompaniment 2, and each accompaniment with the dundun ensemble. So, I have the complete rhythm, all played by Mamady himself for the initial demonstration in perfect clarity.
At least that's something I can learn and pass on, if I choose to.
Yesterday (day 6), he spent the morning teaching a few rhythms to the intermediate and advanced groups. The intermediates did Sundiata Fasa, Sira, Billi Billi, and Toubuka. These are all Mamady's compositions.
Sundiate Fasa is a rhythm for kings. Sira is the name of Mamady's mother. Billi Billi was written for persons with a large personality (in a good sense--people of importance and who can inspire others). Toubuka means "from Toubu" and is about a griot love story.
The advanced group did Keiko, Dai, Baradossa, and Djigui. All are Mamady compositions, and some of those have really interesting hand parts. The Djigui main accompaniment is very similar in technique to the Balakulania phrase we discussed, and so quite challenging to play.
Keiko is a rhythm Mamady composed after hearing a young girl in his village clapping a rhythm and singing a song. The song is a song that girls sing to each other, substituting everyone's name into the chorus. The song is a teasing song: when a girl is seen to eye off a young man, other girls sing the song which, translated, says something like "So-and-so is chasing after men--be careful, men are dangerous. (Keiko literally means "behind man".)
Dai is named after a Japanese friend. Djigui means "hope". Bara is a place where people play and celebrate. Baradossa is about cleaning the place up after the rainy season (pulling the weeds and such) to make it ready for the next round of celebration.
The afternoon was spent working on the pyramid. Haven't reached rhythm 5 yet--instead, Mamady spent most of the time working on the intro for Soli Des Manian. There are some phrases in that that are technically not hard to play, but placed very unusually across the bar and that require a lot feel. Many people were struggling quite seriously with this. But it's coming together. I expect we'll start on rhythm 5 for the pyramid tomorrow. And, the way Mamady has been going, I expect the mother of all intros for the final pyramid rhythms...