Balafonmeeting on 5 June 2021 - Blog - De Balafon is my Passion!
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Balafoonmeeting op 5 juni 2021

Balafonmeeting on 5 June 2021

After a time when organizing activities was not possible due to the pandemic, I was finally able to get back to work with a balafonmeeting on 5 June 2021. Although my classes could partially continue during the lockdown, many had fallen out. During that period, in the hope of easing, I had set aside several dates in the spring to do something extra. Those  came on June 5th and I already had that day as an option. 15 students have used this opportunity to give a boost to their balafon playing.

Nowadays I like to hold my meetings close to home, in the chapel of Amarant Het Hooge Veer, on Bredaseweg in Tilburg. There, the chapel is used as a meeting place and restaurant for the residents of the institution. Some residents also occasionally walk in during the workshop.

In the winter I had already asked Youssouf if he could contribute something to the content of the workshop. Via the app he had forwarded a video of ‘Hènèyamau’ as a suggestion to use. I already knew the song a bit and it was a good reason to polish it up again and deepen it for myself. Working on this rhythm, I decided to introduce it to my students on June 5th. Hènèyamau means ‘Health’. It is a confirmation that health comes first and if you are sick you cannot work. During the workshop, I occasionally had to think of Bintou, Youssouf’s wife who had a stroke this spring. She is recovering but unfortunately her health has taken a big dent. Let’s hope she recovers well.

During the workshop we immediately picked up and played two songs that are played in almost all groups, ‘Bo Yaro‘ and ‘Woro Ma Bwe‘. A film was also made for the promotion of my four-day workshop during the Summerworkshops Loon op Zand from 9 August. After a hard day’s work and making music with some of the people, we still chatted with soup and snacks.

Paul Nas
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