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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sega Sidibe in March (second part)

There was a course with Sega Sidibe this weekend in Dudelange (on the frontier between Luxembourg and France). The extraordinary Malian djembefola left a strong impression on the participants. While his didactic approaches are typically African (one needs some experience to understand the logic of the things he is showing) the results were amazing. Maybe it was because of the things he played and the way he did it, but I guess the magic was more about the things he said or simply the presence of himself alone at the course. I admit I was a little skeptic about it before going because I don't like endless talks about the nature of this instrument, but any musical advice of this man, that has been in the business since the 60s, is simply genuine and straightforward. On the top of it I need to say that the man has a very lively temper: you'll laugh with him very much, but as soon as you disrespect his explanations you may find yourself in trouble - he won't let you play just whatever you think you've learned in your short career. But in the end, considering the respect he has earned, he is entitled to do that.

This is a presentation video made by the organizer of Sega's trips to Europe, .

Hereunder is a provisional translation of the video with some translation remarks in square brackets:
"My name is Sega Sidibe. I come from Wasolon, from a village named Fogamana [I didn't get the name of the village exactly]. I came to Bamako at the age of 16 or 17, aproximately. It was right before the independence.

The tradition has to be preserved. The drummers that have the chance to come here [Europe, West, etc.] are the drummers from the ballet
[the non-traditional type of drumming]. That's not Africa. That is a show, and so... The djembe doesn't know that. All that is like in the theatre. I'm saying that the djembe has a deeper meaning.

Nowadays drummers don't know these things because they started with the ballet and they know only stuff from the ballet. They don't know Sega
[speaking about himself] and they think that Sega doesn't know the ballet, but Sega has done some 35 years in the ballet. 35 years as a solist in the ballet. Sega knows the ballet well. You can play as you like... Some play as the congas... But really, the djembe is not like that.

The one that knows the djembe knows also the phrases. Maybe one doesn't know all the words, but every word, every phrase is made of letters. There are people who understand all that.

I got to know the djembe like that but today it is not like that any more. The goal was to make the atmosphere and, let's call it like this, the solidarity. "


oskar said...

Nice blog, thank you for sharing it...