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Intercultural Percussion-Meeting in between Kpanlogo and Djembé from two master-drummers from Ghana and Mali.

From Bamako to Accra is not a different to two different musical ideas, rather a meeting of the same family of drumming practices. It is not a meeting or marriage of two different drumming traditions, rather a meeting of different drum voices speaking a common musical language. The performance has been put together by two very competent, imaginative and sensitive drum artistes.

The Cede contains six drum music pieces that make fascinating listening experiences, and very danceable as well. The performance captures effectively the creative thoughts of West African drumming. To relate well in African ensemble music the performers must feel and listen to one another keenly. To feel the other performer is to know how to respond to his or her creative stimulus; to listen to the other is to contribute appropriate responses that enrich group creativity. That is what makes accomplished African musicianship.

The creative principle that yields original African ensemble music structures demands respect for the humanness of others collaborating in any communal action - a philosophy of exercising one's individuality in the context and consciousness of others. No genuinely African musician performs without giving due recognition to the other ensemble parts of an ensemble family. The Cede illustrates this fundamental theory of creativity in Africa.

The two drummers have provided space for each other's individualistic style at the same time as supporting the improvisational statements of the other. As such this is a celebration of modern African drumming that advances the creative theory of the famed African mastery of ensemble music structures. The tonal distinction of the drum types enable the listener to distinguish the individual voices in the unity of the well structured compositions.

The stylistic distinctions of the improvisation include complementary as much contrasting devices. The pieces also make a point for harmony of tones and inter-dependence of themes that distinguish African musical thoughts and practices. Track 4 is a game of creative dialog which can make drumming fun for learners as much as experienced practitioners. Tracks 2, 3, 5 and 6 are evocative, featuring virtuoso passages that are anchored by persistently stated guiding themes.

Learners, teachers, lovers as well as dancers of African drum-based music have in this Cede a treasure of expert drum creativity that should be listened to again and again

Professor Meki Nzewi
Professor of African Music - Theory & Practice
Department of Music
University of Pretoria
South Africa

Ashitey Nsotse - Kpanlogo-drums, dundun, kenkeni, bells
Kassoum Traoré - Djembé

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