Here is a final update on our Safari! Next, the drums of Tanzania!
We had an incredible time in Africa. Full stop. On one of our final days we took a ride in a hot air balloon over droves of wildebeest making their way south for calving season. This is the largest land migration in the world. It is an ongoing event as the wildebeests migrate in a circular pattern around the Serengeti. At any rate we count ourselves lucky for the experience.
On Saturday we spent time with a group of locals. The Maasai people of Northern Tanzania welcomed us openly. Their traditional dress was full of rich jewel tones. It was intricate, yet subtle. It was through this meeting that we understood the confidence these people have in their surroundings. This semi-nomadic population is educated in properly managing their land, and producing food to sustain themselves. It is suggested that this skill will be valuable to future generations, world wide, in the face of climate change.
Onto the Drums!
Last week told you we would be lending some insight on the traditional drums of Tanzania. Well, here we are, and here we go!
Derived from the saying “everyone gather together in peace.” This hand-played goblet drum has created a space of gathering for centuries. The west African drum is rope tuned, and played with bare hands. In history the Dejembe is played by men. However, it is often accompanied by Shekeres and other drums played by women.
The Shekere makes its sound by way of shaking and/or hitting against the hand. The body of the Shekere is a dry, hollow gourd. A net, adorned with beads hangs over the body of the gourd to produce its sound.
Talking Drums have two heads and are hourglass shaped. The two heads join together with leather tension cords. The tension cords manipulate the sound of the drum to replicate the tones and patterns of speech. The specific sound of this drum is akin to the sound of a human voice humming.
One hand and a stick traditionally hit this goblet drum to make it speak. In recent decades musicians have made a transition to sets of three to four.
Tones that are notably rich and deep come from this cylindrical instrument. One hand plays the head, in conjunction with a hand hitting the body of the drum. This method creates two unique sounds.
The term was coined in 1996 on Tanzanias first privately owned radio station. The genre, in fact, was born long before it had a name. The term was inspired by the R&B Flava hit “No Diggity.” Bongo Flava refers to the unique musical identity of young Tanzanian musicians incorporating their culture with up popular music from around the world. This style of music can certainly be linked to the rap and hip-hop music in North America. In addition to the similarities, many of it’s qualities can be easily discerned!
Thanks for reading! It’s a busy month for all of us at K-Train Music Studios! Some of our team is now in California attending the NAMM Show. Today Gillian, Erik, Nicole and Richard are off to Japan!