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Tuesday 20 August 2013

Sounds of Sengal and The Gambia

I was going through old files and found this from one of the places I stopped at on the way. Much of the music (outside the tourist areas at least) uses this sort of story telling.

The track was recorded so might not be perfect.


West Africa was a lot of fun, did not understand the language, I am sure the story was explained to me at the time, but just listening to it brings back memories.

This was by Konte and Kuyateh who play a huge drum with strings and sing along. It is called a Kora. There are known as Jali's, a Jali is a 'storeyteller'and they carry on the tradition much as generations had done before them. Singing about the past and the current situation of their friends, family and country. Some of the 'songs' were a tad political!  I had someone local drive me about and he explained that stories and history are passed down from generation to generation by this method within families and groups of friends, ensuring survival of such stories for centuries.

This was from a CD of music picked up in one of the cafe's we passed. The music just jumps out at you and after having seen it first hand captures the West African/Mandinka people very well.

Memories ... a day away from pile ups... the day started with a long drive through bright red dusty roads, out of Kariba, past the odd herd of animals on the side of the road,a stereo is playing this and others, hanging from a bungee in the cab, it is very hot and sometimes very sunny.... It will rain in a couple hours as it is rainy season and the humidity is about 80% already... there are dark clouds on the horizon and there is a huge thunderstorm building, the static on air was enough to give up after a couple of hours in the dawn. We are on the coast road well south of Banjul near the Sengalese border, just stopped at some fishing shacks and fed on spiced fish and rice..far from the usual tourist places...  I understand why the VooDoodes used to come back here year after year, so much to see and every time you go on air more contacts that you can possibly make.

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