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Mamady's workshop in San Diego - Page 6 - Djembefola - Djembe Forum

User avatar
By michi
#7902
Carl wrote:Tell Mahiri I say "hi"
I introduced myself last night and mentioned that I know you from this forum. I'll pass on the message today :)

Cheers,

Michi.
By bubudi
#7912
i think it's because he's humble that he makes his students humble. and then there is nothing left but good spirit and good music... by the sounds of it everyone has come a long way since the beginning of camp. you were comparing mamady's teaching to epizo earlier on in the camp. i'm interested to see if you have anything to add to that now.

do you know what the word kibalen means? and why they have a special dunun rhythm for 15-25 guys?
User avatar
By michi
#7927
bubudi wrote:do you know what the word kibalen means? and why they have a special dunun rhythm for 15-25 guys?
No, I'm sorry. As best as I can remember, Mamady didn't say why the rhythm applies to a specific age range. But, he did say that's an approximate range and that it can go as high as thirty. And that makes me believe that he may have spoken about dundunbas in general because, as far as I know, men above thirty don't do this dance anymore.

Cheers.

Michi.
User avatar
By Dugafola
#7955
michi@triodia.com wrote:And that makes me believe that he may have spoken about dundunbas in general because, as far as I know, men above thirty don't do this dance anymore.
When i was in the village of Mandoukoro located near Faranah, there were definitely men older than 30 participating in the fete: full on line dancing, dance off soul train style. i would say not older than 40 though...but its tough to judge the age sometimes.
User avatar
By michi
#7970
Dugafola wrote:When i was in the village of Mandoukoro located near Faranah, there were definitely men older than 30 participating in the fete: full on line dancing, dance off soul train style. i would say not older than 40 though...but its tough to judge the age sometimes.
Would that apply to traditional dundunbas as well? From what I have heard, dundunbas could get pretty violent at times and, on occasion, even result in death. I also read (I can't remember where) that, once a man turned thirty, he entered a different age of manhood (sort of adult, but not an elder yet). Once a man had reached 30, he was no longer required to prove his status by dancing the dundunba.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By Dugafola
#7980
michi@triodia.com wrote:
Dugafola wrote:When i was in the village of Mandoukoro located near Faranah, there were definitely men older than 30 participating in the fete: full on line dancing, dance off soul train style. i would say not older than 40 though...but its tough to judge the age sometimes.
Would that apply to traditional dundunbas as well? From what I have heard, dundunbas could get pretty violent at times and, on occasion, even result in death. I also read (I can't remember where) that, once a man turned thirty, he entered a different age of manhood (sort of adult, but not an elder yet). Once a man had reached 30, he was no longer required to prove his status by dancing the dundunba.

Cheers,

Michi.
what do you mean by "traditional dununbas?" we played all the classics: dunungbe, kurabadon, amaraba, konowulen, bolokonondo, takosaba...i got to do my damage early on before Bolokada strapped up.

my take is that it'll vary from village to village, region to region.
User avatar
By michi
#7983
Dugafola wrote:what do you mean by "traditional dununbas?"
By that, I meant the dance in its traditional context, say, 100 years ago. As far as I know, once men reached the age of 30, they were no longer required to dance the dundunba to prove their strength because they moved up to the next rung of manhood.
my take is that it'll vary from village to village, region to region.
Yes, no doubt. And Mamady mentioned that no-one knows how many dundunbas there really are because new ones are being added all the time too, and different regions and villages have always had their own versions that morph over time.

But above, I wasn't referring the to rhythm, but to the need for men to dance the dundunba to prove their strength.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By dununbabe
#9717
Dugafola wrote:wow...there's a lot of people in that class i wouldn't peg for "advanced" at all. you can tell by the way they move their hands.
it all depends on the levels of who shows up for the workshop.... he just divides the participants into 2 separate groups. We used to call them intermediate group and advanced group but recently we started just calling them group 1 and group 2. It's as if the "new generation" is/are the ones willing to spend the time, energy, and cash for Mini Guinea.
Seems strange to me that there are not too many of the more advanced players coming. I was wondering if people think that, after a certain amount of time studying, they are "past" that. Thoughts?
By bubudi
#9724
dununbabe wrote:Seems strange to me that there are not too many of the more advanced players coming. I was wondering if people think that, after a certain amount of time studying, they are "past" that. Thoughts?
i think that this does happen everywhere, to a small extent. there are a lot of challenges to playing in the west, especially when playing is not your income source and in fact is competing with your time for either making money or setting up your career. not to mention the cost of studying in that level. weekly classes are not enough at that stage and in many cases provide very little for an advanced player (this in fact depends on the teacher, as well as on the general level of the class). advanced players need advanced workshops and one-on-one. another problem is that if a few advanced people stop coming, then there aren't enough advanced people left and the general level of the class suffers. also, seeing the other advanced players giving up on classes is in itself discouraging.
User avatar
By michi
#9726
One of the problems with workshops for me is the law of diminishing returns. As I get better, I get less value out of a workshop. Here in Australia, I'm usually the most advanced student at any given workshop, or at least among the top two or three. This means that, usually, the pace of the workshop is slow for my taste and that I don't learn all that much. In turn, that makes it harder the justify the cost of the workshop and travel. For example, to attend Mohamed's workshop at Easter near Newcastle for four days costs me $900-$1000 all up. That's a lot of money when all I learn is maybe two rhythms I haven't played before, and maybe a few short solo phrases. It's simply no longer cost-effective.

The Mini-Guinea camp last year was a refreshing exception. For one, there were several people who were more advanced than me, the level of instruction was outstanding, and I got four hours of drumming per day, plus being able to sit in with the other group. All up, that's much better value for money per hour and for the amount of learning I get, so it makes sense to go, even though it involves overseas travel. (Besides, that camp was a ton of fun :) )

Yes, it would be nice to have more advanced people show up. But, to get that, I suspect you have to explicitly run a workshop strictly for advanced people. Quite likely, just as is the case for me here in Australia, quite a few advanced players don't show up for the same reasons: too little learning and growth for the expenditure involved. And, of course, if the majority of people at the workshop are intermediate level only, Mamady can't teach at an advanced level without losing the majority, so it's a catch-22.

Maybe it would be worthwhile considering an advanced level workshop? Make it clear up-front that attendees are expected to be proficient at certain things. (Make it clear what is expected, and maybe put up a handful of sound clips with examples: "If you can't play what's in these sound clips, don't bother coming...") That might be a way to get the level of the workshop up. But you still may get fewer registrations than you would like. Let's face it: the more advanced the workshop, the smaller the market segment you are selling to...

Cheers,

Michi.
By Ubuntu
#11097
I am considering attending the Mini Guinea camp this April 2010.
How much note taking on paper takes place?
Does Mamady mind note taking?
How much time do you all spend practicing away from the camp, off camp hours?
I assume the pyramid is to be memorized?
Are the other rhythms Mamady teaches expected to be memorized?
Thanks!
User avatar
By michi
#11102
Ubuntu wrote:I am considering attending the Mini Guinea camp this April 2010.
How much note taking on paper takes place?
Does Mamady mind note taking?
Note taking is encouraged. A lot of people sit there and scribble notes while Mamady explains things. You are also encouraged to make audio (not video) recordings of everything. Mamady runs you through all parts of a rhythm at the beginning, playing each part himself. That's the best time to record, IMO. You are also free to record during classes, so you can record any solo phrases, and you are also encouraged to record Mamady's improvisations. (Usually, Mamady ends teaching each rhythm with a section where he improvises, so you can collect more solo ideas and phrases.)
How much time do you all spend practicing away from the camp, off camp hours?
It very much depends on each person. Some people go to a park or some such and practice outside class hours; other don't. It's entirely up to you.
I assume the pyramid is to be memorized?
Yes, because we perform the pyramid to a public audience at the end.
Are the other rhythms Mamady teaches expected to be memorized?
No. How much you remember (or forget) is entirely up to you :)

Make it to this camp, if you can--last year's Mini-Guinea was the best drum camp I ever attended!

Cheers,

Michi.
By Ubuntu
#11394
Thanks for the reply and the info Michi!

Couple more questions...

Why is it the best camp/workshop you ever attended?
I attended two days of Mamady workshops in the fall, 6 classes in all.
I collected 6 rhythms.
You are saying 2 weeks for 5 rhythms?
(Hey... partially I am simply provoking conversation.)

Also, what about significant others.
Did many attendies have guests with them that did not take the workshops and what was the dynamic and effects of that?

Thanks so much!
User avatar
By michi
#11395
Ubuntu wrote:Why is it the best camp/workshop you ever attended?
Well, the sheer intensity is hard to beat, as is the quality of teaching. Mamady is simply an outstanding teacher, and he gets everyone to perform at their 120% level. And he tells lots of interesting stories about his life, Mandingue culture, the significance of the rhythms, and so on.
I attended two days of Mamady workshops in the fall, 6 classes in all.
I collected 6 rhythms.
You are saying 2 weeks for 5 rhythms?
Well, last time, I think it was around 18 rhythms all up. He really packs it in! In the morning, there are two classes, one for the intermediates, one for the advanced people. Once you are assigned your group, you cannot play with the other group in their class, but you can sit in and listen and record so, if you are in the advanced group, you can also learn the rhythms he teaches to the intermediate group, and vice versa.

And there are five rhythms in the pyramid, plus the various solos Mamady teaches. It really is a great learning environment.

The people are really great too, so the whole atmosphere of the camp is beautiful.
Also, what about significant others.
Did many attendies have guests with them that did not take the workshops and what was the dynamic and effects of that?
I don't think there were too many couples there where only one of the two was drumming. But I don't see why that should stop anyone!

Cheers,

Michi.
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