Ethnolyrical

making music, writing culture

Bamako, Mali: Sounding Griots, Global Aesthetics

Bamako, Mali: Sounding Griots, Global Ae...

Featured tonight is Symmetric Orchestra, a multifaceted project by Mandé jéli Toumani Diabaté that encompasses a series of West African and Diasporic musical styles, from club, Cuban-influenced pop, Soukous, and Big Easy blues (with a visiting American singer). The shifting dance circle manifests a rich interaction between multiethnic West African griots,musicians and dancers and a far-reaching international crowd.
Tassou: the Ancient Spoken Word of African Women

Tassou: the Ancient Spoken Word of Afric...

Woman Poet Yandé Codou Sene Sings Senegalese Independence, African Creativity: While the work of West African strumming male praise-singers or griots/jalis, has been studied by Western researchers from the earliest years of folklore and ethnology, the region continues to be animated by the rich voices of praise-singing women, whose poetry and song draw from detailed knowledge of the lineages pf neighboring families, a talent for improvisation on ancient songs, themes and rhythms, and an ability to bring a crowd into chanting and dancing communion in the space of a few poetic bars.
Sufi Movement, Light, Voice at a Senegalese Baay Fall Dahira

Sufi Movement, Light, Voice at a Senegal...

(Field Recording, Photos) The outer workers' and artisinal suburbs of Dakar, Senegal (Banlieue) flicker with firelights each Thursday nights, waving in the Sufi sacred night's shifting air. Standing one one unpaved, lamplit crossroads atop a pile of Senegal's famous fine Sahel dust, one can hear what seems to be an infinite trail of tumbling drums and echoing voices arising from the celebration of Baay Fall (Sufi) praise groups called dahiras.
Listen to Yaay Fall Senegalese Sufi Praise Song (audio)

Listen to Yaay Fall Senegalese Sufi Prai...

A field recording from my ethnographic work with a group of young Baay Fall Sufi Muslims in Dakar's outer suburb of Guediawaye, Senegal. This longer recording features the singing of praise singer Binta Sarr Diop, a woman devotee (or Yaay Fall) of Cheikh Ibrahima Fall.
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