e2c wrote:Thanks much for this, bubudi.
I think one of the single most confusing things (for me, at least) is the way terminology - and spellings - can vary so widely depending on locale, what languages are spoken in any given area (since it's generally multiple languages), etc.
I also sometimes feel likes there's a big disconnect between the Konate and Keita schools of thought (in general) regarding history, names of rhythms and more.
Is there any single person teaching in the West who is seen as the sole keeper of traditions? Or is it maybe - for the W. Africans - that there are multiple variants of rhythms, and they don't feel a need to pin down one or another as being "definitive"?
To my mind, it appears that we Westerners are the ones who insist on "authenticity," and that maybe we're missing the point (at times, anyway) when we do so. That's not to say that I think "authenticity" is a bad thing - I don't! but I have a feeling that our (my!) thinking is somewhat rigid, compared to the Africans'.
Just my .02-cents''; I'm no expert on anything and am here to learn, above all.
have you studied a lot with Mamady and/or Famoudou? I feel that they are very closely related having done time with both of them but mostly Mamady. i have learned many of the same rhythms from both Masters as well as all the cultural background and significance. they are very very tight and have been friends for a long time. Mamady has been pushing for the Mamady and Famoudou workshop/camp for a while now - let's hope it happens. keep in mind that Famoudou is Hamanah who pretty much never left the region before he went to the Ballet in Conakry and Mamady is from Wassolon who went all over Guinea in his early ballet days with the Siguiri troupe and then spent time in the Ivory Coast as well. Their respective repertoires overlap some but differ more.
re: the sole keeper of traditions...that's what griots are for. but with it being an oral tradition - an old one that, and the region of the old Mali empire being so vast, the chances of having some thing become "definitive" are slim and none.
i totally agree with you on Westerners being insistent on 'authenticity' and being obsessed with finding 'what's the real ______" or whatever. we as students will be moved one way or another regarding what we learn from our teachers...either we're going to be stoked with it and want to play it or put it in the archive for stuff to be played at a later date. i've always been an advocate of learning from as many different teachers as possible to broaden my understanding of Mandingue djembe music and to be able to play what a dance teacher wants to hear or what other drummers want to hear. i believe it's important to know the differences when you encounter them and to keep stuff separated. with that approach, I can recognize which teachers really have a firm grasp on their tradition and who's just feeding me fluff.