Monday, June 13, 2005

"traditional" music and contacts

Yesterday, I got back into the musical swing of things a bit. A friend of mine, knowing that I like music, especially drumming, took me around to a funeral to listen to the performers. As I approached the circle to give some money to them (as is the custom), I realized that, by chance, the leader of the drummers was the same guy who'd overseen my music lessons two years ago in Douala. He passed me his shakers and I played with the ensemble briefly. They finished shortly, and a different ensemble took over. They played some music I'd never heard before. I was told that these rhythms were very complicated and very old. The slit-gong, or "telegram" (hollowed-out log with carefully placed holes), was particularly captivating, and I might focus on that instrument in further lessons and recordings. The performers during this were all masked and dancers wore shells on their calves which added to the sonic tapestry. A lot of fun and very compelling.

1 comment:

viv wife of favourite Uncle Al said...

I was interested about the shells on the performers legs, as Morris dancers in rural England wear bells on their legs to similar effect. Hope you are well.Viv