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Duran, Lucy (2013) Do farala a kan: something has been added. Growing into music in Mali part II, 80-minute documentary film. SOAS. Available from

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Growing into Music in Mali Part II: Dò farala a kan: something has been added. Following on from Da Kali, this film looks in more detail at ideas around what constitutes musical progress. Our guide in the film is Lassana Diabaté, a virtuoso jeli (griot) who comes from a long line of balafon players in Guinea, now living in Bamako. We follow the musical progress of children in two prestigious extended families of jelis, representing two distinctive regional traditions: the balafon (xylophone) of Niagassola across the border in Guinea, and the ngoni (lute) of Segou. Chapter 1 spends time with the families of El Hadj Sekou Kouyaté, the custodian of the Sosso Bala, declared a UNESCO Masterpiece of Intangible Oral Heritage in 2001, and reportedly dating from the time of the founding of the Mali Empire in the early 13th century AD. El Hadj Kouyaté’s son Fantamady, like many balafon players, is an expert guitarist; while another son, Janguiné, is a singer. Both are settled in Bamako where they have busy careers as musicians, and both are concerned to pass on the tradition of balafon to their young children, who show a special interest in learning, but there are many distractions and talent is not always the key to progress. A visit to Niagassola by three of the Kouyaté grandsons highlights some of the tensions between town and country living, but their pride in their special connections to the Sosso Bala shines through. Chapter 2 visits the extended family of Bassekou Kouyaté, innovative and virtuoso player of the ngoni, whose international success has given him another perspective on his Bamana tradition from Segou. Although the ngoni plays a central role in the lives of this family, the focus is on how the many Kouyaté girls, aged four upwards, learn the art of song and dance, in both Bamako and Garana, a village in Segou province where Bassekou grew up and where most of his family still live. In Garana, we watch the girls learning to sing such major pieces from the Bamana repertoire as Da Monzon, and see them play at the vibrant handclapping songs, the tegere tulon, that are fast disappearing, and were once a major creative force in the lives of Mali’s musicians.

Item Type: Films
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Music
Copyright Statement: copyright Lucy Duran, SOAS
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2015 09:47
Related URLs: http://www.grow ...

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