Nous sommes à la fin des années 70 sur l'île de la Réunion. Le maloya, surgissant d'une période d'amnésie refait soudainement surface sous le kayamn affûté de Firmin Viry. Ce chant des esclaves, douloureux et combatif vient conforter un mouvement identitaire très fort qui se détache du paysage politique d'alors : les départementalistes au pouvoir tentent d'étouffer les élans de culture réunionnaise en laquelle ils ne distinguent que le signe d'une marginalité et d'un indépendantisme dérangeant. Mais la rage pacifiste éclate dans l'intimité des fumées des kabars, fêtes secrètes où la « créolité » mène la danse. A la tête de ces actes de résistances musicaux : Ti Fock, Granmoun Lélé, Danyel Waro et Gilbert Pounia se serrent les coudes dans ces années difficiles. La poésie, les contes, les chansons et les danses se déversent en trombe dans des fonkèr revivifiants où le rythme du maloya n'en finit pas de se libérer de plusieurs siècles d'oubli. En 1979, trois jeunes amis plein d'entrain, Gilbert Pounia, Bernard Payet et Alain Armand nourrissent avec enthousiasme l'idée de fonder une association culturelle pour « la valorisation et la propagation de la Culture réunionnaise ». Le projet est lancé, il manque juste un nom : Sirandane ? Beau-dommage ? Non, finalement, c'est roulant sur les routes sinueuses de l'île, assis dans leur voiture que Gilbert propose Ziskakan à ses compagnons. Enfin baptisée par son leader, l'association militante connaît alors un essor inattendu en rendant aux réunionnais les saveurs de leur Culture par les sons de la poésie, les rythmes de la musique, du chant et de la danse, et par les rêveries créoles enseignées par les contes. Regroupant des intellectuels férus d'Histoire, de Littérature et de Culture, le collectif joue sur tous les fronts et séduit aussi une large partie de la population en lançant le magazine Sobat-koz, la radio libre Ziskakan et en créant le GREC (Groupe de recherches et d'études créoles).
Les années 1980 sont marquées par un foisonnement de formations musicales aux compositions et arrangements autant inventifs qu’éclectiques dont la plupart alimentent le nouveau genre du « maloya électrique » (Ziskakan, Ousanousava, Baster, Ravan…). Les textes deviennent de véritables monuments littéraires qui s’éloignent du format court du maloya « traditionnel ». Musicalement, les sources d’inspirations sont aussi bien internationales que françaises et locales. Sur le plan du message apparaissent des thèmes devenus essentiels depuis. Nous pourrions tous les rassembler sous celui de « l’identité », chose d’autant plus compréhensible qu’il s’agit d’inventer une culture et que, dès lors, tout un ensemble de sujets s’imbriquent.....
En filigrane, on l’aperçoit pourtant au travers d’un constant travail de métaphorisation, élément central de l’esthétique réunionnaise, qui sollicite les thèmes du dénuement, du métissage, du marronnage ou encore, et peut-être surtout, celui de la liberté. Les bases d’une nouvelle musicalité sont jetées par des groupes jouant encore de nos jours un rôle de tout premier plan, y compris lorsqu’ils reprennent, comme lors du 20 décembre 2006, les répertoires de leurs débuts, devenus à leur tour depuis une « musique populaire traditionnelle ».
C’est le cas de Ziskakan (« jusqu’à quand ? »), groupe qui marqua durablement les esprits avec son premier album, Bato fou (1981). Proches du milieu militant et universitaire, ses paroliers lancent alors des phrases-choc telles « Maloya i casse les zoreilles gros blancs » (dans « 20 désanm »), « Tu vas connaître la souffrance quand notre pays sera accosté à la France » (dans « Bato fou »), « Non l’esclavage est pas bien mort (…) Madame Desbassayns est encore vivante » (dans « Sarda »). « Douloungué », composé par Gilbert Pounia, est possiblement l’œuvre la plus explicite de la discographie réunionnaise se référant à l’esclavage. Enregistrée en public, elle retrace en près de 7 minutes le calvaire d’un esclave – de son enlèvement à sa terre natale (« Douloungué zanfan l’Afrique ») à sa seconde capture par des chasseurs de marrons et aux sévices qui en découlent – pour s’achever par ce cri : « Pourri esprit dominateur, esprit colonisateur, esprit profiteur ! ».
Benjamin Lagarde-L’esclavage dans le maloya (1981-2006)
Soungalo Coulibaly was "the" master drummer of Mali: He had an exceptional command of the djembé, demonstrating an innovative, virtuoso style of performance equaled by very few West African musicians. By virtue of his profound knowledge of the tradition in combination with his forceful, complex performances on the instrument, he was named one of the four best djembé masters, alongside Famoudou Konaté, Mamady Keita and Adama Dramé. Like most traditional drummers, he gained his first musical experience at a very early age by accompanying work in the fields and playing at village celebrations on the bara and the sabani. He left Béléko for Fana, then for Côte d'Ivoire, and taught himself to play the djembe, seizing every opportunity to accompany the djembefolas he met at celebrations, and adopting their music. When he moved to Bouaké, Côte d'Ivoire, in the mid-1970s, he immediately earned a name for himself through his remarkable musicality and his ability to adapt to all sorts of different styles. It was there that Soungalo invented 'flez' music - a fusion of djembe, dunun, tama, djidunun, balafon, kamelengoni, acoustic guitar, karinyan and song.Flez music draws on the repertoires of the bambara, malinke, fulbe and wasulunka traditions. Those qualities led to recognition in Europe, where he regularly presented concerts as well as giving courses and formed a group with French musician Vincent Zanetti featuring the exceptional deep earthy voice of Mariam Doumbia-Diakité,who is the real star in Dengo.Soungalo died in 2004 after a short battle with cancer.
"During the past few days as the world has reflected on the life of President Nelson Rolihlala Mandela, these ordinary South Africans have been largely absent from the media accounts. We have witnessed a rapid re-writing of history where the struggle spearheaded by the mass democratic movement that marched past my classroom has been collapsed into the special personal determination and charisma of one great man and, at most, a small circle of people around him. Having spent six and a half years in prison myself, I have the highest regard for Madiba. But he did not take his long walk to freedom alone, nor did he succeed because of some American-style rugged individualism. Madiba was a product of his traditional Xhosa community in the Eastern Cape. He was also a product of a hateful apartheid system that propelled him to envision a loving, inclusive alternative. But most importantly, Madiba was a product of some of the most profound social movements of the 20th century. From the ANC Youth League of the 1940s all the way through to the United Democratic Front and the Mass Democratic Movement of the 1980s, he was surrounded by thousands of people grappling with the complexities of changing a hateful system and constructing a society based on participatory democracy and sharing of wealth. That long road to freedom which Madiba walked was a crowded highway bursting with masses of creative, energetic, dedicated and vastly intelligent people. Madiba drew on their strengths to rise to his special heights. So when we remember him let us not swallow the iconized version of an African giant, but instead keep in mind all those who walked that road with him, without whom he never could have undertaken the journey.."
Performed during collective ceremonies, the Ahellil is a poetic and musical genre emblematic of the Zenete population of Gourara. This region in southwest Algeria includes some one hundred oases populated by over 50,000 inhabitants of Berber, Arab and Sudanese origin. The Ahellil, which is specific to the Berber-speaking part of Gourara, is regularly rendered at religious festivities and pilgrimages as well as secular celebrations, such as weddings and community events. The Ahellil is closely linked to the Zenete way of life and its oasis agriculture, symbolizing the cohesion of the community living in a harsh environment and, at the same time, transmitting the values and the history of the Zenete population in a language that is at risk of disappearing.
Simultaneously interpreted as poetry, polyphonic chant, music and dance, this genre is performed by a bengri (flute) player, a singer and a chorus of up to a hundred people. Standing shoulder to shoulder in a circle surrounding the singer, they slowly move around him while clapping their hands. An Ahellil performance consists of a series of chants in an order decided by the instrumentalist or singer and follows an age-old pattern. The first part, the lemserreh, includes everyone and encompasses short, well-known chants that are sung late into the night. The second, the aougrout, concerns only the experienced performers who continue until dawn. The tra finishes with daybreak and involves only the most accomplished performers. This threefold structure is also reflected in the chant performance, which begins with a prelude by the instrumentalist, followed by the chorus picking up certain verses, and ending with it chanting in whisper and slowly building up into a powerful, harmonious whole.
,,,When the day has been totally engulfed by night,a group of men form a circle around the abshniw(poet and soloist),the bab n tandja(flutist)
and the babn qallal(percussionist).Sitting shoulder to shoulder,all repeat in chorus after the soloist and the orchestra ,the laments consisting of petitions and praying of pardon and grace.
The bitterness of the day gives way to the gentleness of night.However Ahallîl also tells tales and recounts history and tales:local events ,romantic epics,family feuds come between reminders of religious precepts and tales of battles.
Just like the griots,which they resemble a lot,Ahallîl singers contribute to the creation and safeguard of the collective memory of their people.
...And now in Johannesburg and armed with “tunes from God" he started attending jam sessions at Dorkay House where he jammed with the likes of Chris McGregor and others who later left for exile. It was in fact McGregor who, during these jam sessions, came to Pat and pointed out to him the singularity of his style on piano. McGregor told Pat that there was a man who wants him to come and play at his place. A baffled Pat then enquired from Chris how possible that was, seeing that he (McGregor) was a pianist himself “No" McGregor answered immediately, “the guy says he wants you. He wants you alone. He likes your style."
If there is ever any proof that Pat Matshikiza had carved for himself a distinct sound on the piano, this is it. And long after the Jazz Dazzlers had disbanded, and Chris McGregor and others had left for exile, Matshikiza stayed on playing almost all over the country for almost every and anybody. He entered jazz competitions and won prizes that sometimes lured him overseas but he miraculously refused to leave and preferred to play in South Africa. Like Winston ‘Mankunku' Ngozi he formed a bridge between time and space by keeping the home fires burning, but sadly he never had the fortune to exhibit in a very significant way the majesty of the sound that he so obviously possesses. He ended up playing in hotels and such places and gigs that hardly denote the maestro in him. At best he became an evasive legend whose musical voice spoke louder than his persona in the annals of the South African jazz discography....
Puppet masquerade originated in the precolonial era and remains a vital performance tradition today. It draws together a rich body of visual, musical and dance arts in a dynamic event that the community defines as both entertainment and play. But the theater also has a serious side, and people talk about its capacity to reunify the community, to create a context within which traditional social values can be taught, and to provide a time to give thanksgiving for the rains and for the harvest. The puppets are played by five ethnic groups: the Bamana, Maninka, Maraka, Boso and Somono who live along the Niger River and its tributaries from the Segou region in Mali, south into northern Guinea. The first three of these groups are farmers and traders, while the Boso and Somono are fishermen. Sogo Bo is also unique among the other masquerade genres in this region in the variety of
characters that are performed. These include wild animals from the bush and river such as the elephant, lion, hippo and crocodile; mythological and fantastic creatures including a whole variety of bush and water genies; conventional human types representing occupations like farming, fishing, and the musical arts, as well as more contemporary characters like policemen, government officials,etc The puppets are voiceless and do not perform narrative skits, but their performance is accompanied by a chorus of female singers. Each major character has a signature song, and these songs allude to the qualities of the charcter, the social values of the group or to historical events. The songs are drawn from a rich repertoire of fables, legends, epics and proverbs. People prepare for months for the event, and for months afterwards they talk about the performances. Equally as important as the puppet masquerades’ entertainment value is the fact that these performances remain important occasions for the exploration of beliefs and values. Older animal characters, like the lion and the elephant, continue to be played today, and people relate the majesty of the lion and the size and steadfastness of the elephant as important qualities for leaders in the community. The community has always embraced new characters and a few that have been created in recent years speak to people’s growing concerns about divorce, poverty, and good governance Like folktales and other theatrical forms, puppet masquerade performances throw community values and everyday social relationships into high relief, and these performances open them up for public scrutiny and discussion.
from Playing with Time- Art and Performance in Central Mali Mary Jo Arnoldi.
from the Djanet-Tassili region in Southern Algeria and rich reservoir of Tuareg Culture a fantastic recording from Imaran -the companions-the group of Ahmed Chakali since 1988 Oud and Voice:Ahmed Chakali Chorus:Dassine & Tin Hinan Percussion:Ahmed & Salah.
Ce disque est une page d’ethnologie . Il retrace des moments d’initiation. L’initiation dans la société traditionnelle le passage de l’enfance-adolescence à la maturité, à l’âge de la responsabilité. "L’initiation est comprise comme un ensemble de pratiques visant à communiquer à l’individu des connaissances nécessaires à sa bonne intégration dans la société. C’est en somme tout le patrimoine moral du groupe qui est transmis à l’occasion de l’initiation " "Gon Bia Bia ", le titre essentiel de ce disque , célèbre le départ pour le camp iniatique. Le mérite des musiciens du Nimba de la ville de N’Zérékoré, est d’avoir su transporter avec fidélité les sonorités forestières : ces voix éraillées , ces rythmes téléphonés, ces trompes tiercées qui reproduisent une attachante ambiance forestière. A l’issue de l’écoute de ces chants , on ne peut plus douter des dires du chef d’orchestre du Nimba, Samaké Namakan :" les mystères de la forêt peuvent être maîtrisés en musique. ".
Until the arrival on the scene of Ayinla Omowura and perhaps the popularity in later years of Epe-born Ligali Mukaiba, Haruna Isola reigned supreme as the foremost Apala music exponent in Nigeria . And before he died, he added a feather to his cap by his unprecedented contribution to the development of the music industry in Africa .
With a gentle but compelling rhythm that is steeped in the style of Ajao Oru, leader of an Apala aggregation that first attracted attention in the early 50's to become perhaps the first recorded artist in this music idiom by Philips Recording Company, Haruna Isola truly made his mark and left a valuable legacy behind as the greatest, most popular Apala music exponent the industry ever produced.
His continued success depended on a number of star qualities. As a singer, he bad the ability to create thought-provoking lyrics about issues, places, real life situations and even the philosophy of life where. he was comfortably at home with the use of parables and anecdotes. He consistently projected the virtues of life and living through these channels without soaring to unnecessary praise singing and abuse which later became the order of the day.........>>>>
& the party continues with the Apala messenger & king (both !) Haruna Ishola Late Oba Adeboye and fished this beauty from yt / enjoy
Somos los cubanos que venimos invadiendo, Somos los cubanos que venimos a decirte a ti que la timba es brava, la timba no es como ayer
We are the Cuban invasion!
We are the Cubans who have arrived to tell you
that our timba (sound) is ﬁerce,
our timba is not like yesterday’s.
(Daniel Ponce, New York Now! 1983)
................ Daniel Ponce, himself both a Marielito and a professional rumbero, composed and recorded “Invasión 80”(New York Now! 1983). Playing with the stereotype of the Mariel migration as an “invasion,” this recording revealed the larger history of migration and labor of which the Marielitos and rumba were a part. “Invasión 80” was a very different rumba from the conga lines that people had heard and experienced in previous recordings and performances by Mr. “Conga-man” Desi Arnaz. “Invasión 80” was intended to challenge the Hollywood disseminated Ricky Ricardo stereotype of Cuban Americans as white and middle class. Ponce’s rumba also lent visibility to rumberos who had participated in the emergence of Latin jazz, like percussionist Chano Pozo, who collaborated with Dizzy Gillespie between 1946 and 1948, the year in which he was assassinated. Finally, Ponce’s “Invasión 80” also recalled another invasion, which took place in 1917 during the sugar harvest season in the rural areas of Matanzas province. According to numerous recollections,borders with his own cohort of Mariel rumberos. famous rumberos from all over the country traveled the island in search of seasonal farm work, and after their arduous labor, they competed among themselves, elaborating complicated dance steps that demonstrated their ability as Columbia dancers. In his album, Ponce paid tribute to these transregional and seasonal workers’ contests, reminding listeners that the circulation of workers now continued beyond Cuba’s borders.
from The Acoustic Body:
Rumba Guarapachanguera and Abakuá Sociality in Central Park by Berta Jottar
Alhaji Ayinla Omowura,colossus of African music By Benson Idonije
Te first time I heard Ayinla Omowura in actual performance was in a recording session at
EMI's Oregun studios. This was in the 70s and it was a colourful and exciting session replete
with all the trappings of talent and artistic creativity.
The great exponent of Apala and colossus of African music was there with his entire group
and the recording engineer specially assigned to the band because he was used to their
antics. I saw raw talent and artistic motivation at their best as three albums of 36-minute
duration were recorded effortlessly at a go, with the session flowing naturally and smoothly,
unhampered by unnecessary breaks arising from musical lapses.
The whole thing was written in the mind; and as soon as the first percussive note was struck,
the session took off with the call and response pattern in which Ayinla waited from one
chorus to another, establishing social commentaries with thought-provoking proverbial and
Once he had cause for a retake, but instead of redoing the portion that did not sound satisfactory, he did it all over again. And this time, even though the rhythmic pattern was in
the same racy, intricate fashion, the singing was not exactly re-enacted in the same
progression, word for word. But thesame message was conveyed and the same meaning was
made - a true celebration of African music.
I stayed through till the end of the recording because I was carried away by the intricate
complexities of his rhythms and the bluesy, down-to-earth voice that sang. I did not
understand the message but the compelling sound of the ensemble and the artistic creativity
of his vocal inflections registered an indelible impression on my mind.
The uniqueness of Anyinla Omowura's music was just beginning to attract public appeal and
his popularity assuming legendary proportions when he died. As a matter of fact, at the time
of his death in 1981, Ebi kii pa'gun dojo ale, one of his greatest albums, was enjoying
tremendous popularity at the number four position of the then Radio Nigeria Top Ten Chart,
whose idea was created by veteran broadcaster Ikenna Ndaguba.
His popularity was more pronounced at the grassroots level, and that is why it was more
visible in areas, such as Mushin and Agege, where all the meat sellers, motor drivers and all
looked forward to his new releases. He was a superstar, an institution and a great crowd puller. I had cause to attend one of his live shows at Mushin on the invitation of his recording
company. I reached the concert venue alright, but before I could get to the stage, it was a
lot of hassle as I was subjected to indignities and humiliation from his follower-ship who
physically barred people from getting through. There were three hurdles to cross. The first
one at the periphery was that of dancers who jumped for joy to the music that floated
through from the distance.
Needless to say that on stage he was power-charged and highly
Ayiola Omowura's death was premature and untimely, but he left a good number of albums
behind. His first big hit was Challenge Cup, a social commentary on a football match involving
Stationery Stores, with "Ode tio p'etrin a mura, also in the same album, helping to
consolidate his acceptance. Hit albums, which are also of evergreen interest, are Owo tuntun,
Abode Mecca, Eyin Oselu wa, Egbo tuntun, were were la fin s'ere wa, Shaki n se bi ora, Awa
kii se olodi won, a posithumous release, among others.
A foremost African musician, Ayinla's influence is beginning to manifest itself on the youth
and their execution of the various social music forms of today, a trend which is a glaring
testimony to his innovativeness, and the depth of his creativity.
His success was so overwhelming to the extent that he became an-idol to the masses particularly among the public transport drivers, and the traders to mention a few.
In the 10 years that he was on EMI Nigeria label, all his 20 albums sold a minimum of 50,000 copies on the first day of their release. Acutely popular,Omowura’s day of release was always a carnival at garages,Beer parlours and even at parties.,,
Apala party time
with Eyin Ose'Lu Wa probably from 77-tape rip with some 'warbles' on the first track
Teningnini Damba as daughter of Bazoumana Sissoko , the old lion, had his legacy to defend
but in Aye Woyo she is crafting some truly brilliant -and addictive-originals
after-all Teningnini is simply great as herself-a lioness indeed....
Tibbal music from the Tihama coastal plain of the Yemen on the Red Sea
-recordings by Anderson Bakewell -
an African-Arabian blend of lyres, reeds and virtuosic drumming,
performed by members of the Akhdam, or better "Al Muhamasheen" the marginalized ones,
the outcast group that has a certain reputation for sorcery,among others...
you can read further, this article in english and this in french,
about the social exclusion of the Akhdam
"The djembe is not only a musical instrument,but an instrument we live with,
and through it we can express our emotions” Amadou says.
Born in Ouagadougou,Burkina Faso, Amadou Kienou is the seventh son in a family of praise singers
of Dafing origin,a nomad tribe that settled down
during the time of the Mandingue Empire.
Praise singers from father to son,the Kienou are renowned and very popular professional dancers
and musicians in Burkina Faso.
Amadou has been initiated in music within his family,mostly by his father,the late Baba Kienou,
a distinguished and famous djeli
who brought his personal touch to big national and cultural events like the Djandjoba,in the sixties
and young Amadou learned to play by his side,most of the traditional instruments:the djembé,the balafon,the doundoun,the tama and the n'goni.
Amadou Kienou from 1986 on,became the main percussionist of the "Ensemble Instrumental du Burkina Faso",then in 1988 of the Wande company of Moussognouma Kouyate and next year he joined "Ensemble Artistique de Désiré Bonogo"
During the mid-90's he was also a member of the contemporary dance company " Salia n' Seydou" under the direction
of choreographer Salia Sanou and as musician-narrator in the "Fa Djiri Lolo-Théâtre" company.
In '95 he founded his own group " Amadou Kienou et l' Ensemble Fôteban" ,
with brothers,sisters and cousins musicians and dancers from the extended Kienou family:
Oumar Kienou, Issoufou Kiénou, Dramane Konate, Dara Sanou,Salimata Kienou,Korotimi Ina Kienou.
djeliya and spoken word on a magic carpet woven with ngoni and guitars
from one of the greats,Cheick Fantamadi Diabaté dit Fimani,
with Adama Kouyaté djembe and Drissa Diabaté on kora....bliss
electric versions and even more kora versions of the wonderful theme of Mansane Cisse
a universal tale of love and betrayal ,witchcraft and death, in song
i read in tp africa : "There was a fisherman named Bakari. His young wife runs always for money to Mansane Cisse,a rich merchant while her husband was fishing on the river. Bakari decides to contact a marabout and thanks to his powers and witchcrafts, patron Cisse dies the same night in which he consumes the first passion night together with the lady, who will also die after him. The nobles in the village ask Bakari to accompany them on the other bank of the river where the tragedy had just taken place. In the middle of the river Bakari stops his pinasse and asks the griot who was there for the nobles, to sing a song about his story. This song was in fact Mansane Cisse the story of a rich and powerful man who was living in the illusion of being able to obtain whatever he wanted thanks to his richness and about a poor fisherman who is redeemed and enters the collective conscience of the people." 13 versions (at_hand) collected 01-Mama Sissoko-Manssane Cisse 02-Kandia Sory Kouyate- Massane Cisse 03-Sura Susso- Massaneh Cessay 04-Djiguiba Cissoko-Mansane Cisse 05-Super Diamono de Dakar-Mansani Cisse (Instrumental) 06-Papa Susso & Tamba Susso-Mansane Cisse 07-Vieux Diop-Manzani 08-Lalo Keba Drame - Mansane Cisse 09-Kaloum Star-Mansane Cisse 10-Miriam Makeba's Quintette Guinéenne-Mansane Cisse 11-Idrissa Diop & Cheikh Tidiane Tall-Massani Cissé 12-Orchestre Baobab Gouye Gui De Dakar-Mansane Cisse 13-Mangala Camara - Mansane Cisse