bubudi wrote:in my opinion sega is the quintessential african master musician who is all about feeling and mood, and would prefer to laugh and joke rather than explain or compete with other players. he grew up and played in the village but at the same time developed a rounded style that is decidedly ballet influenced, too. best of both worlds i think.
thanks for that! that gives me some food for thought. I do not often think about matters of taste as being fixed, but as full of potential for development. When I started with drumming, I couldn't listen to recordings with djembe. I thought they are awful to listen to, you have to actively drum in order to like the music, not passively listening to it -- at least you have to listen to live music. But then it was clear that it is a necessary process to listen a lot
to the music in order to understand it. So I made myself listening to djembe music only for one year. After that I really liked it.
The same happened with dundunba music. The CD Hamana from MK wasn't music to me. But a girl who played the best in my community said to me I have to able to play that kind of stuff in order to join her band. so I listened a lot. it's still not my favorite album, but dundunbas grew on me.
then again, when I joined Rainer Polaks masterclass, I was sometimes puzzled about his aesthetic judgements. while I prefered soloists who make a lot of things with their drum and roll a lot, he prefered other things. With time, my own aesthetic preferences shifted much in that direction. I am still lacking the high esteem for the style of Yamadou "Bani" Doumbia, but I guess with time and more experience I will at least come to see his point. After all, I came to appreciate the old style of old Namory Keita very much.
that's why I ask. the joke and no competition thing is probably not something that turns me to Sega, since I see that Drissa Koné is much like that. I have not the slightest idea how Séga was in his youth, but with age the competitiveness fades away in most of the masters, though I think it is deeply
ingrained into the fabric of the culture (fadenya
) and part of the reason why drummers become so good. As to the village style, I cannot say what that really sounds like in that part of Mali.
JSB wrote:Even if I wanted to, what could I say to convince you if the music doesn't?
Well, here you did just that:
What struck me in Sega's playing is the same thing I love in Ahmad Jamal's music, a sense of space, elegance, minimalism and sharpness.
It took me a few seconds to get back to the djembe, while listening to the Madan track of "Rythmes du Mali" (reissued in "Njaga") and it never left me until now.
A sense of space, elegance, minimalism and sharpness is good food for thought and development. The Madan by Sega is something I like pretty much, too. But usually, the minimalism in soloing is something I can appreciate much better in ensemble music of Guinea, where the groove is already a dense texture of different bells, dunduns, and djembes. With one kononi playing practically without variation and one accompaniment, that minimalism appears to be a bit sterile.
in comparism, the minimalism of other old players seems to be of a different kind. it is a continous playing, but with minimal rolling and other "special effects". What they use is an extensive variation in microtiming in order to induce suspense. it is a bit like being on a beach and listening to the continous sounds of the waves that suck you into their realm. it is more dialogic to me, it's like a conversation with the accompanying drums and with itself at the same time, creating archs of suspense like good novels do.
I hope it doesn't bother you. Sometimes, it is hard,not to be misunderstood in writing. I don't want to bash Séga, I really don't. I just try to understand and learn. Will build a konkoni today and listen to some more recordings...