vendredi 3 novembre 2017

June 2016 Travel Report


June 20, 2016

Master Bouba Mbeng
Back from my May visit with our students in Conakry, I am happy to report that l’Ecole Fula Flute is in good shape.

Since last December when our students played for the inauguration of the President a new teacher has joined our school. He came well recommended by one of you dear generous donators, we gave him a try and he is wonderful! Master Bouba Mbeng is a great percussionist, kamala ngoni player and excellent singer. He is very kind and with patience and persistence he achieves excellent results with the kids, as demonstrates the featured clips (“Fouta” and “Suite Percussion”). Furthermore he serendipitously filled a void and helped augment the versatility of our student by introducing them to a new instrument, the kamala ngoni.

Our students have a great love for music and the more we give them, the more they want so I was glad to begin instructing the most advanced in the basics of the chromatic tambin. I also had the pleasure of teaching them the jazz classic “Saint-James Infirmary,” and “Soundiata,” the classic Mande epic in three keys: C, B-flat and A-flat.

 Bouba sings and plays kamala ngoni with his students.

I made a concentrated effort with the younger kids to help them properly close the holes on the flute and produce a better sound. I asked the older ones–who don’t have patience with the little ones–to observe my class and several of them did and we therefore made a little more progress.

Master Mamady Mansare, one of the greatest musicians of Guinea, continues to give instruction in Malinke flute. I doubly, triply and quadruply love and respect him as he travels from far in the suburbs to come and teach. His contribution is incalculable: simply the heart of Guinean flute playing, we are very thankful to him.

Among our students, an enthusiastic flute-maker manifested himself in the person of Abdoulaye, our lead percussionist to whom I demonstrated flute making principles which he diligently put to use and quickly produced several decent instruments.

During my last days, we received the visit of students from ISAG (Superior Arts Institute of Guinea)–surprisingly mostly pianists–who observed our activities and classes. They took notes and asked many great questions and were evidently very interested by what they saw and heard and it appears that we are developing a relationship with the Institute.

Flute class plays "Saint James Infirmary"

The Centre Tyabala is managed by honorable and courageous people, namely, Mr. Mohamed Momo Sylla and Ms. Veronique Patrick Lamah who have for the last eight years been there every day supervising classes, meals, administering, recruiting, beat the pavement and take care of the needs big and small.

The money you contribute is well spent: we help procure and repair instruments, pay teachers, and provide food, clothes, and medical care to the kids. 

Directeurs de Tyabala: Momo Sylla and Veronique Lamah
During my stay a crisis erupted, it seems some private interests had managed to wrestle control of the storied hangar in which we, and others, work and we were about to be evicted. Many people mobilised and a week later I was told that none other than the office of the President of the Republic released a statement on television stating that (paraphrasing): “ the 'Maison des Jeunes’ (Youth House) of Taouyah will always be the Maison des Jeunes of Taouyah and that any rumors to the effect that it had been sold were erroneous.”

There were celebrations which coincided with the time we had scheduled to record the repertoire of Master Bouba. Some men set up large loudspeakers on the street and a lot of noise insued: deafening music punctuated by long speeches. However, we were able to negotiate a repreive of which we took advantage to do our work.

A recording session with Bouba's percussion class

There were many magical moments and the whole amounted to, again, an unforgettable trip… which calls for another… next Fall, inch’ Allah.

Thank you very much Dear Readers, your support is essential to us, like the air we breathe, and your generosity is manifested every day in the life of our school and the joy of our students to pursue their journey of discovery in music.

I invite you to visit our website to stay in touch:

Blessings to all,

Aucun commentaire:

Publier un commentaire

Mai 2017 Travel Report

Things are looking up May 31, 2017 Dear Friends, Last February, I visited our dear Ecole Fula Flute / Centre Tyabala in Conakry, Guine...