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New CD: Babila Records – Percussion & Songs of the Malinke Guinea

Music Album Babila Records 2019


Recorded from January to April 2019 in Babila; a small town located in the central east of Guinea in West Africa in the area called Hamana.

The idea of producing a CD was born together with the musicians and the recordings took place in a typical Malinke hut. The pieces are accompanied by two female griots, which is a singer, storyteller and poet. It is a profession into which one is born, and which plays a central role in the culture of oral tradition. Each specific rhythm has one or more associated songs that can have subtle differences to those played in neighbouring villages.

All participants volunteered to participate in this project unpaid and any profit from the sale of this CD goes exclusively to the participating artists.

The traditional Malinke music in Hamana consists primarily of percussion and vocals. There are three bass drums, the Sangban, the Dundunba and the Kenkeni. The first two are additionally equipped with a bell. Typical of Malinke's traditional music is the unmistakably audible bell line. The bass drums sometimes interact autonomously with each other. They can vary, respond, leave space, or change in intensity. The djembe as a solo instrument serves and guides the music and its creativity influences to a certain degree the whole interaction of the group. In that sense, each piece is unique and can be subtly different when played each time.