Tag Archive | ngoni

Burkina Faso

Another unexpected musical encounter in Ireland, which I can only faintly remember… A guy named Trevor came into The Living Tradition, the music shop where I was working (working at making conversation with just about everyone, that is). He told me he played the ngoni, an instrument related to the west African kora. So somehow we made the connection and he ended up over at my place to practice for another spontaneous gig, quite like the vina player from a few posts ago. [I’m telling you, it’s like magic dust in the air over there or something.] Today while searching for good music to teach in Bardstown this coming weekend, I ran across just one track of Trevor teaching me a song, accompanied by ngoni, and bells on his ankles. So I took the opportunity to re-teach myself the song, transcribed it western style, and figured it all out on the hammered dulcimer. The tune doesn’t do much, and neither do the lyrics–although I’m sure there are more we just didn’t get to… But I think it’s rather beautiful in its simplicity. This here is a recording of me trying it on the dulcimer just now. I’m sure I’ll learn more with this tune, how to play with the rhythms, melodic variations, etc. Could even write more words, I suppose. We’ll call it a work in progress for now. And hopefully it’ll make an interesting contribution when I teach it at the dulcimer festival this weekend. I bet most of the teachers teach music they actually know! Where’s the adventure in that?

Faso Denou…”Thank you God that I was born in Burkina Faso”:

(My new verse will have to be more like “Thank you God for this wonderful green leather wallet that Zena bought for me in Burkina Faso during her term with the Peace Corps.”)