Monday, July 03, 2006


We watched a DVD today on drumming in Burkina Faso. It was fascinating, to say the least, how complex and developed is drumming in Africa. I think West Africa has the lion's share of this complex polyrhythmic drum music but I have no real proof or statistic for this statement and may be completely wrong. It is amazing how the styles of playing and the rhythmic patterns are changing as the village youth arrive in town. There seems to be a revolution as the drum reaches beyond the traditional djembefola families to the youth now influenced by radio music and tv music from the culture and out of it. I was amazed to see how the women of Burkina Faso in response to drum solos dance remarkably like the dancers of renowned Guinean ballets. The drum is alive and well in West Africa in old classical forms and in modern new polyrhythmic patterns which I hope the world at large will receive with joy instead of wanting Africa and her gifts only at their most ancient, exotic and other worldly forms. Nothing cheesy about this at all. Long live the DRUM!


No comments: