Today I am listening to some great African music. The CBC has added a concert by the group Okavango to its list of free concerts on demand.
For Okavango seven musician from different part of Africa have joined together – musicians who normally would not play together. Okavango has created a great mixture of African music.
The musicians are playing severel African instruments: the kora, the balofon, an arabian lute (oud), the guembri – an instrument with 3 strings from Nothern Africa and Marocco, the drum sabar form Senegal, the lyre krar from Ethiopa, but also electric guitars and several other instruments.
I have not found any videos showing Okavango, but I have found some videos with members of Okavango.
First I have two videos with Nuru Kane and his guembri. In the first video he tells about the guembri (French), the second is a video from a concert with Nuru Kane:
Nuru Kane et sa guembri.
Nuru Kane world music.
Reportage web télévisé de la web tv http://www.tvidf.fr – Réalisation journaliste Eric Minsky-Kravetz.
Extraits du concert du chanteur musicien sénégalais Nuru Kane au “Centre Musical Fleury Goutte d’Or – Barbara” à Paris dans le cadre de l’événement “Téma Barbès l’Africaine”.
Extrait du reportage web télévisé exclusif du 22 mai 2010 à Paris de la web tv francilienne tvidf.
Les musiciens qui accompagnaient Nuru Kane à ce concert : Jouad el Garouge (percussions, guembri et chant) et Thierry Fournel (guitare, oud, n’goni).
The next video shows Daniel Nebiat and the krar, a kind of lyre from Ethiopa and Eritrea.
Information about the krar from wikipedia:
The krar is a five- or six-stringed bowl-shaped lyre from Eritrea and Ethiopia. The instrument is tuned to a pentatonic scale. A modern krar may be amplified, much in the same way as an electric guitar or violin.
The krar, a chordophone, is usually decorated with wood, cloth, and beads. Its five or six strings determine the available pitches. The instrument’s tone depends on the musician’s playing technique: bowing, strumming or plucking. If plucked, the instrument will produce a soft tone. Strumming, on the other hand, will yield a harmonious pulsation. The krar is often played by musician-singers called azmari and accompanies love songs and secular songs, which makes it an enjoyable accompaniment to a cozy meal.
Okavango: An African Orchestra
On the page with the concert by Okavango on the CBC concert on demand site you can read the following:
This is an ambitious new musical project that could happen only in one of the world’s great multicultural cities: Toronto. To create this pan-African orchestra, Batuki Music Society Artistic Director Nadine McNulty has assembled a cast of seven accomplished African-born musicians who now live in Toronto and Montreal.
Historically, these musical cultures have had little or no interaction. For instance, musicians in West Africa who usually play the kora, balafon or drums would not use an instrument from East Africa like the krar to create music or vice versa. Or a Malian kora would sound alien to a farmer in the Ethiopian highlands who is used to the one string fiddle called masenko. And the list goes on, all over the vast continent of Africa.
- Daniel Nebiat – vocals, krar
- Pasipamire Gunguwo – vocals, marimba, mbira
- Donne Roberts – vocals, guitar
- Nuudi Kooshin – vocals, kaban
- Waleed Abdulhamid – vocals, guembri, bass
- Sadio Sissokho – vocals, kora, tama, talking drum, sabar
- Walter Maclean – vocals, percussion
- Nadine McNulty – Artistic Director
(concert no more available)
Wikipedia about Sintir / Guembri: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sintir
Wikipedia about the krar (English): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krar
Wikipedia about the krar (German): http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krar
Playlist with videos by Nuru Kane and Daniel Nebiat: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D5462DBD8AAE8A68