Posts Tagged ‘Dragon Head Music’
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I admit, I am biased towards the musicians of Mali. Perhaps it is because their culture forms the heart of the old Mandeng Empire and the music and mysteries of the music there are older, more complex and piercing. Perhaps it is because it is here that Sundiata rose and music flourished to support his reign. We are completing our seires, the history of djembe drumming, and just wanted to give you a taste of what it is like in Bamako, Mali; music everyhwere. All day and all night music reigns in the mind of the visitor. Check back in for the articles.
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Mamady Keita was born to drum. This Master Drummer has traveled the world sharing the beauty of the Wassolou and Mendeng traditions of his people. He is one of the few Master Drummers to garner an international following and success. Notice the use of “breaks” creating musical interludes in the composition. Keita and his drummers seem to play with little effort or exertion. But, we know they are working hard!
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Senegalese artists had a tremendous impact on African dance in the United States as the result of the influences of Mor Thiam and Katherine Dunham between 1968 and 1974. This video of the National Ballet of Senegal filmed in 2006 is excellent in that it shows the use of both the djembe, indigenous to the Mandeng cultures of the Old Mali Empire and the Sabar of the Wolof people of Senegal!
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One Master Drummer told us that During the Civil Wars to Unite the Old Mali empire the Wolof king turned his back on the rising king, Sundiata Kinte. Once Sundiata conquered the nations, he turned and chased the king through Africa and to the Western Coast of Senegal. Once there, Sundiata forced him and his people to dance and expose their genitals, a way of expressing their shame for their tribal conduct. I don’t know if the story is true, but there is definitely no dance form like Sabar, where the movements are so openly sensual and sexual. It may have started as a dance of disgrace centuries ago, but it is definitely a moving, sensual and erotic form of dance.