Sunday, October 27, 2013

African Drum and Dance Ensemble Concert Report #2

On Thursday, October 24th, at 8:15 PM I attended the African Drum & Dance Ensemble Performance. One thing that was special about this performance, was that beforehand myself and about 15 other people had a hour long session learning how to use these drums and some of the history of the music. We learned about the different symbols engraved on the various drums that meant different inspirational things such as peace or tranquility. We also learned how to create different rhythms on the drums by going around in a circle and each person making up their own distinct rhythm from our imaginations. It was interesting to hear everyone’s different styles, and to make rounds with the different rhythms. If we hit the center of the drum, the deepest noise came out of it, which was like the bass line of the music. If the side was hit, it was called the tonal part, and there was also another way to hit it, called the slap. All three different ways of hitting the drum made very different noises and that was also interesting to hear. I really enjoyed the class that I got to take, and it really opened my eyes to the varieties of music out there. Right after the hour-long class, we headed straight to the concert, which was simply amazing. From the beginning I was instantly intrigued and was moved so greatly by the music and dancing. It was so much to listen to and I wanted to get up on the stage and dance with them! The first song was called Calabash and it was performed by the Seminar class. It was a traditional song and dance from Mali, and it was very upbeat and intense. There was not one second during any of the songs that I wasn’t amazed by the intense drum beats or the stylistic dancing. There were many more songs performed, called Gyil, Kundun, Sinta, Gahu, Jare, and Adjogbo. I’d say the two most memorable pieces were the two performed by the African Drum and Dance Ensemble rather than the Seminar class. These two were Jare and Adjogbo. They both featured a guest from Africa named Sulley Imoro. The culture and greatness he brought to the stage made everyone shine even more. He was accompanied by students that have actually taken the class in Africa, which made the performance that much more believable. During a few of the songs, there was singing that was done in the African language, which added to the texture of the different instruments being played. This type of music is not very comparable to anything that we learned in class. It is its own genre of music that I found so interesting, fun and amazing. I definitely enjoyed this concert thoroughly and would recommend anyone to go see it in the future if given the chance. 

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