Monday, July 23, 2007

Chris's Special Evening

July 17, 2007. Larabanga, Ghana

After a full day of shooting, Chris, our soundman, stayed behind in Larabanga. His intention was to work with a Master drummer from the community, and he had high hopes of getting a private drumming lesson. To Chris's surprise and delight, rather than a lesson, the people in the community performed music from the Damba yam festival. This involves a complex drumming style of the same name. Chris points out that there's a dispute among musicologists as to how to count and notate this style of drumming. There are very few recordings of music from Northern Ghana, so the people of Larabanga fall into the cultural group known as the Gonja. This is a recording of drummers performing on the evening of a much-awaited thunderstorm. The group included a very old master drummer accompanied by several of the men who acted a hunters in the film. For Chris, the entire experience was magical, as it was only lit by lightening from the thunderstorm. Enjoy this rare recording courtesy of Chris!

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