CDs, books and DVDs
Hi all,
What do you think of this book/cd/dvd combo?
"West African Drum & Dance: A Yankadi-Macrou Celebration" by Kalani and Ryan M.Camara ... 0739038699

Just had this in, and I think it's very, very good! Yes, it's only two rhythms, but it is the first dvd I have come across that combines drum, song and dance - the ideal way of teaching things!
I bought this when I was searching for answers I had about Yankadi. It's a good resource, but it left many questions open for me. The material was chosen from a community they work with on the isle of Roume. It is supposed to be beautiful there and a popular place for tourists. But I cannot say how authentic the stuff is you can learn at such a place. My own interest rather is a comparative approach, but for that see the thread "trying to understand Yankadi"..
Yeah, well it's not very in-depth, but it covers a lot: djembe and dunun patterns, xylophones and krin, dance steps, intro about culture and even some susu language phrases.

Most workshops and teaching dvds just focus on djembe or djembe+dunun, but when this music is used in social setting it is mostly used to accompany dance (or some event, ceremony, song). So the rhythms and especially the solos make much more sense when you actually see the purpose why they are being played. That's what I like about this book/dvd - covers it all though not in-depth.
You are right. It would be nice if there would be more out there like this. It covers different aspects of the two rhythms, at least as it is played on the Isle of Roume. Even though I know that the call for "authenticity" is very problematic in djembe music, I still think that it is important to access sources critically. It is important to have lots of stuff like this published to get a better idea of the rhythms. but it is tempting to think that with such a source you really know what a rhythm is all about. It is good to know to what kind of dancesteps a solo corresponds to, for example. But the dancesteps in the video coming with the dvd performed by the white guy, they look all pretty much the same -- and somehow they do not remind much of an erotic couples dance, do they? The perfomance video from the Isle of Roume, on the other hand, looks exactly like a performance in the ballet style, again not like an erotic couples dance...