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Recording Resources Page

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…d ethnomusicologists. However, it has taken us time to really work out the best processes for working effectively out in the field. With that in mind, we have created some resources for other groups to use for working in the field. Please feel free to use the below resources for your field trips in whatever region you are based, and please do reach out to us. We love to meet others who are passionate about music in their own region! Village Visit…

Day Three: Bungoma Town to Kakamega Story

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…rform in the Imbira style. They are part of the Wanga tribe, which is a sub-group of the Lua, known for their Kings (Nabongo). We performed next to the mausoleum where four kings were buried, dating back to 1700s. They had lots of dancers and instruments, including: Sukuti: Three drums Ikdengele: Ring Inyungu Isiongo: a pot with a cool ‘drum stick’ like a rubber plate. Ing’oma: skinned drums Manyanga: bottle top rattles Tsisala: Sticks Lisanduku:…

Day One: February 16, 2020 (Ngawala Hotel) Story

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…ng. Mbiyo Za Sakafuni: This is about too much haste and costs of being too fast (literally it translates as ‘speed on the floor.’) Hebu Uone Aibu: Means ‘witness the shame.’ Wanawaki Afrika: A Celebration of African Women Unyago: the group is named after the drums they play and the style. This style is all about ‘Rebels’ and things that women talk about to themselves – very suggestive songs but using innuendo, so all deniable if called out. Tradit…

Singing Wells Stories Page

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…re: Otacho Young Stars. Akello Jackie Akello is a young Ugandan singer songwriter, who joined us on our field trip to Northern Uganda in late 2012. As well as providing translation services, Jackie also collaborated with musicians in the field. Our influences series sees our field recording team augmented by a young musician in the early stages of their career – to collaborate with and be influenced by the musicians in the field. A large part of t…

Kahithe Kiiru Staff Profile

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…arch methods, data collection and analysis, and is experienced in academic writing, content creation and editorial.Kahithe has a master’s degree (MPhil) in Ethnomusicology and Dance Anthropology from the University of Paris X Nanterre and is currently finalising her PhD in Anthropology (ABD) at the same university. She was recently appointed Head Choreographer for Bomas of Kenya, a national dance troupe tasked with the mission to preserve, promote…

We assemble in Kisumu Story

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…arch methods, data collection and analysis, and is experienced in academic writing, content creation and editorial. Kahithe has a master’s degree (MPhil) in Ethnomusicology and Dance Anthropology from the University of Paris X Nanterre and is currently finalising her PhD in Anthropology (ABD) at the same university. She was recently appointed Head Choreographer for Bomas of Kenya, a national dance troupe tasked with the mission to preserve, promot…

Field Recording Report by Kahithe Kiiru Story

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…g’. We were welcomed by his son Donald Obasie, who is a fine artist. The 80-year-old Obasie grew up with music, since his grandfather Okomol was a traditional percussionist. Obasie himself started playing music in 1958 and has mastered several Teso traditional instruments. Today he plays with an old friend – Mzee (Edler) Ikobulo (born 1932) and his daughters as back-vocals. Through a series of 8 songs, he showcased three major instruments: ADEUDEU…

Nile Beat Artists Group

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…ed to the UK, keen to evolve his sound. He plays the Kora, and much of his writing combines West African instruments with an East African writing style. Song Meanings “Ikobo Kobo”: It is a type of herb. It is a song about a girl who is very bitter because her mother will not let her play with her friends freely. The mother explains to her that she was barren but the spirits helper her to conceive so the spirits set the condition that she should ne…

Day Four: 10 March 2022 (Rongo) Story

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…ents were of utmost importance in making it easier for these rural and peri-urban based musicians to migrate their shows and concerts to online platforms in order to reach wider audiences and create new revenue streams. As we headed back to Nairobi on Friday, 11th March 2022, we had lively discussions on ways and means of empowering these marginalized creatives and on how to assist them to access global markets. They need a conducive environment t…

Here for the Music? Page

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If you are here to experience some of the very best music East Africa has to offer then you are in the right place. For some of our stories, videos and the chance to listen to some of our Singing Wells Albums, head to the links below. Stories Read some of our most memorable stories from the field, featuring stunning photography taken by our team. Learn more about the communities we meet, the instruments that are being played and the background s…

Day One: January 18, 2019. Assemble in Tanzania Story

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…ge, we do one field visit a year, recording roughly 20-25 groups, and a 100-125 performances. We have roughly 1,000 videos online. Our general setup for a recording is: a) Steve is in charge of audio and we typically have two general mics for the group and 5-6 specific microphones for singers and musicians, b) we have three video cameras operating – one wide shot for full performance, one close up to capture details of instruments and one roving c…

Global Influences Project: Artist Submissions Page

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…hangla // The Otacho Young Stars We love this submission from Kenyan singer-songwriter and producer, Ashisho. This song is called “Enjoy” and we hope you love it as much as we do! “The song came together in one sitting where I made the beat and recorded my vocals (it was a long night) I later mixed and mastered the track the next day. I wanted a loop that was mostly made up vocals so that I could use it for the hook. The other two loops had an und…

Day Three: 9 March 2022 (Kisumu) Story

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…usician, Olith Ratego later used his woodwork skills to create a novel five-stringed instrument he named okoddo after his great-grandfather, Okoddo Madanda, who was known to his peers as a fierce warrior and revered as a mythical figure by members of his community. Olith Ratego is an ingenious vocalist, a gift he inherited from his mother, Maria Anyango Odari, who was an accomplished singer in her own right. His musical style is greatly influenced…

Otieno Aloka Group

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…cluding bicycle brake cables. When played with a bow, orutu creates different notes determined by finger pressure against the central stick. It provides a fast-moving, melodic accompaniment, similar to the fiddle in folk and country music….

Day Five: Ilesi, Khayega to Kisumu Story

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…text really begins. Ing’ombe: This is about the bulls (I can’t read my handwriting here!) Iminyi: This is a type of bird that hides in roofs and is difficult to find, but is a strong bird. The song tells the story that the best fighting bulls are not the ones preening around the village, but rather they keep to themselves until the fight. And then they win. The Shiselelo procession – this is for weddings. The songs include: Hoya: This is encouragi…