Schiermonnikoog 2019 - Paul Nas
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Schiermonnikoog 2019

Schiermonnikoog 2019


What a wonderful weekend behind us at Djembé Dramé on Schiermonnikoog 2019! A long weekend of music, workshops performances and great people together with a shared passion for African Percussion and Dance. Tasty African meals, an enthusiastic team of volunteers and of course Mousse and Turid as the excellent host and hostess; the drivers of the weekend.

Teachers also playing great music!

The teachers have done several performances during the weekend at different times. For me the balafon players Haruna and Sidiki Dembele and Oumarou ‘Mandela’ Bambara were of course the most interesting, but also Ibou N’Diaye (Sabar, Serouba), Iya Sako (Djembé), Abdoul Aziz Kob (Kora), Merlin Nyakam (Song / Dance) ) and Mousse Dramé have produced beautiful sounds and rhythms at different times. I also contributed a few times and on arrival of the larger group of participants on Friday afternoon I gave a welcome concert with the people of Negunya with balaphone, vocals and percussion.

Balafon pieces

There were two balafone lesson groups; one for the 10 enthusiasts of a whole weekend balaphone study n for one for the people who wanted to follow a 3-hour workshop in addition to Djembé or Kora (another 13 people extra!). With the group of 10 I worked on Diarra Allay, with a spicy accompaniment pattern supplemented with a short melody line, a song and some solo accompaniment phrases. You can find the Diarra Allay paginga here. With all participants together (23 people) I worked on ‘Den Wolo Ka Guele’ or; “The woman is the most important thing in the world!” The Participants learned a basic pattern, the melody line, a solo accompaniment pattern and every song in a 3-hour workshop! You can see more information about this balaphone piece here.

Before and during the workshop
Myself I had already arrived at Schiermonnikoog with the people from the balaphone lesson group Uithoorn (with supporters). That way, before the weekend itself starts off, to acclimatize for a while, to swim in the sea and to explore the island. Two ‘Safari tents’ were rented, which formed a nice base. There were nice picnic tables and lovely lounge chairs (and blankets for the evening cold). We have cooked and eaten together, experienced flying out of a Swallow nest and enjoyed the bucket of fresh five, which Anno had brought!


On Sunday evening, all groups showed each other and the interested public on the island what they worked on. The two groups of balafones also presented themselves beautifully. At the end the teachers took care of a fantastic closing and provided the “Fantanmankene” balafon piece with strong percussion. Afterwards we danced nicely, first in the village house, but later, at home on our camping farm, just like every evening still having a nice swing with DJ Joep! Below is a video with a short image of all the performing groups.

Paul Nas
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