MUSIC - Page 1

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Pape recording

RECORDING THE MUSICIANS: Derrik brought his professional recording system with the hope of recording musicians that we met in Senegal. The project was a huge success! He created CD's right on site and gave them to the players to give to their friends or to copy and sell. Most of the musicians had never recorded their music and they were ecstatic to have these CD's. On this end, Derrik is going to make a compilation CD for the members of the Senegal-America Project.

Here's two of Derrik's tracks of PAPE SAKHO, the griot, singing and playing his KORA (see Daily Adventures, Days 4-6 for background info about griots)

(If you don't hear music, click here to download the newest version of Quicktime)


Barou Sall


Barou Sall 2

Here BAROU SALL is giving us a masterful demonstration of the HODDU. Barou, a Fulani man, is one of the living masters of this instrument. The hoddu is a three, four, or even five string predecessor of what Americans know as the banjo. This instrument has a very long history among the Fulani people. Barou is also a griot, a keeper of stories and history, a soothsayer, and songwriter from a caste of griots whose job it is to build, strengthen, and sustain his Fulani culture. He is a traditionalist and an innovator, which may sound like a contradiction, but in the Senegalese context, these two are synonymous. He has played with Afro-pop superstar Baaba Maal for over a decade, and has recorded and/or performed with most of Senegal's great singers. He also sings, and tells the stories behind the songs he plays. He's a very humble and unassuming man, which only adds to the power of his musical knowledge and skill. For more info about BAROU SALL and the hodou, click here.

We are so grateful to Massamba Diop for bringing so many of his extraordinary musician friends to work with us on this trip! Here are two samples of Mr. Sall's music and storytelling as recorded by Derrik.

The following text was taken from an interview with BAABA MAAL: The main instrument that Fulani (in Senegal) use is the violin. We call it nyanuru. Wolof people call it riti. Fulanis, nomadic people, when they are on the land with their cows, they use it just to keep the time going. It's a long day from early in morning to 5:00, you stay alone with cows. Sometimes in the middle of the day, you are having a rest. You just play and remind yourself of your girlfriend, or your family, or your friend who traveled. And they use that one. If it's not the nyanuru, they prefer to use the flute. It's very important I think for a lot of nomadic people--not just Fulani in Africa, but all over the world--I think nomadic people like the flute. It reminds you of the wind, traveling. It's a very pure instrument.

And the third instrument that they really adapt is the hoddu. Some people say it comes from the Empire of Mali; other people say it came from the nomadic people. The Fula have a legend that says the hoddu, which is the ngoni in Mali, comes from Fulani people. I can't say [which is true].

Click HERE to see next page of music samples
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