YAYA DIALLO'S WEST AFRICAN MUSIC
"... DOUNOUKAN is a wonderful buffet of West African rhythms from a master drummer. ... Diallo's lifetime of musical experience make this CD well worth having for fans of African percussion."
Scott Allan Stevens, Host/Producer of Spin the Globe on KAOS Olympia Community Radio, Olympia, WA, May 2003.
Yaya Diallo performs the rhythms of ceremonial, ritual and daily living in traditional West African village life on his album DOUNOUKAN. With drumming that is almost sparse at times and voice that leaves expected conventions behind DOUNOUKAN proffers an experience in West African community.
DOUNOUKAN is Yaya Diallo's third album released in 1995. Out of circulation for several years, DOUNOUKN is again available through Onzou Records in its original CD packaging.
Yaya Diallo: Djembé, Dounouba, Tama, Balafon, Vibraphon, Bara and Lead Vocals
Daniel Bellegarde: Djembé, and Congas
Sylvain Leroux: Flute
Kwabena Owusu: Dounouba, Conga and Tiékeré
Stuart Paton: Djembé and Congas
Aviva Vogel: Djembé and Congas
Backup Vocals: Date Frend, Nathaniel Hall, Sylvain Leroux and Kwabena Owusu
YAYA DIALLO was born in the village of Fienso, West Africa. He is a member of the Minianka tribe where music is an aspect of every part of life. Work, worship, celebration, life and death are all parts of his culture in which drumming is an integral part.
He believes drumming also to be a remedy for psychological and physical maladies. This is expressed in his book The Healing Drum
Yaya Diallo presently teaches workshops and performs throughout North America bringing his traditional knowledge to Western culture. His recordings include NANGAPE, 1980 LP; compilation CD by CBC; CBC cinema studio recording Senghor, 1982; THE HEALING DRUM, 1990; DOUNOUKAN, 1995; DOMBAA FOLEE, 1998; NANGAPE on CD, reissued in 2002 and LIVE AT CLUB SODA.
NEWS AND REVIEWS on the artist Yaya Diallo, his music, books and articles is available on the Yaya Diallo community forum, http://yayadiallo.proboards20.com
This is a dance for captives, not slaves, but those who have lost a war. Traditionally the conquered are taken to the winners' village where they work. Each year the captives organize a dance to intimidate their masters. With the stopping of tribal wars, this dance now exists only in the theater.
2. Lamban for Mrs. Diallo
This music is played by the Griots for Griots, also known as Djellis. They say Allah did a good thing in creating the status of Djelli. Not being a Djelli myself, I dedicate this music to my wife who adores it.
Bara means gourd. In this case a large calabash is cut open with a hole that is covered with goatskin which gives a muted sound when played. This music is for great occasions. The oldest dancer takes the lead and is followed by order of age. The entire proceeding ends up in two circles, one for men, the other for the women. When the older people sit down, the rhythm changes with the entry of the young boys and girls. On this recording, I transposed the music for djemés and dounoubas. This is very rare, in fact an innovation.
This music is sung in honor of the elders. Each time an old person dies among the Minianka, there is a celebration in recognition of the support this elder gave to the community and the tolerance he or she showed.
5. Iye Iye/Defoulment
At the Harvest each year we play music and then dance. The dance lasts all night when the harvest is good, but is short when the harvest is bad.
The title of this song means blacksmith. This music accompanies them during their different tasks. The music and dance are expressed in three phases.
This music accompanies workers in the fields to encourage the lazy ones to work energetically. Each person needs to take care of his or her responsibilities. Being a good human being means not being a headache to one's family, one's community, and humanity in general. The music gets the workers moving, first with strength, then with speed. A sudden stop indicates a rest. The workers sing and then return to work. When we dance to this music, it is a perfect example of immediate communication between dancers and musicians. The arrangement is based in humility because the body's appearance no longer matters in this context. It is so hot while we are laboring to produce food that sustains our lives, tha everyone works naked.
In the Minianka language, Hooro meand dance and everyone joins in after a hard days work.
This is a persons first name. In Africa each profession has it's own music and dance. Therefor in the twentieth century, music has been created for such professions as a truckdriver.
This is a region of land between Guinea and Mali. The popular djembé music for this region is Sogoni-kon, which means the tail of a small animal. This music is played for many celebrations such as weddings, circumcision, harvest and for pleasure. It is very popular with women because it allows them to display their vocal talents.
This is another name for Fienso, my home village in Mali. In my neighborhood, called Outekan or Outeme, people who live alone love this music. While life becomes impossible without water, without love it becomes hell. This piece is dedicated to all those who suffer from lovesickness.
12. Djomon/Dialogue of Drums
Djomon means dialogue. This music is made for the dialogue among the drums. In Africa we say the big drum has it's voice as does the small drum. In addition to being a rhythmic instrument, the drum can also be used melodically. This piece is to pay homage to my father and my ancestors.
ADDITIONAL ALBUMS BY YAYA DIALLO ON ONZOU RECORDS
NANGAPE: Yaya Diallo's classic 1980 instrumental album of African drumming, balafon and flute music.
LIVE AT CLUB SODA: New Release November, 2003, http://www.cdbaby.com/yayadiallo3
"hypnotic dance music, with one foot planted in village music, the other kicking toward jazz and funk"
- Scott Stevens, World Music Director, KAOS-FM, Olympia, WA
"Many thanks!..I really know many african sounds .. from very traditional to high-life..to afro-rock to whatever..this KANZA sound/concept is DIFFERENT! .. very cool .. YES it rocks!! ... GREAT music!!"
- Lord Litter, DJ, Music Pormoter, Musician, Berlin, Germany
ONZOU RECORDS collaborates with YAYA DIALLO to share his music from traditional West African village life - a healing arts treasure from the Minianka people of West Africa. Projects include the creation of traditional African healing centers beginning with one in Bamako, Mali to provide a base to transmit the music and culture to future generations.
VISIT ONZOU RECORDS, http://www.onzou.com
Stephen Conroy, Producer/Manager
Yaya Diallo's West African Music