The Execrable Bede
Faso Yiriba, an ensemble from Burkino Faso, create irresistible music by weaving a bewitching musical tapestry in which traditional Mandinka instruments--n'goni (including a 11-string n'goni), balafons, calabashes, and the shaker--are vividly intertwined with stirringly soulful vocals. Buy this album and instantly improve your life. (And please be as generous as possible when you do--it's technically a free digital download, which contains a few video clips, as well)
Favorite track: Doubabou.
Faso Yiriba are Massa Adama Dembélé, Mamadou Dao, and Bèhanou (Ben) Sanogo; a group of gifted multi-instrumentalist hailing from Burkina Faso who play a form of traditional mandinka music, also know as mande music or afro mandingue traditionnel. Faso Yiriba blends elements of mande traditional song structure and instrumentation with personal lyrical content. In the song 'Djelia' (the fifth song on 'Faso Yiriba') Massa sings an ode to the Djelia/Griot tradition, the keepers of oral history who are central to music making in and around the West African Sahel. Faso Yiriba's songs often serve as lessons on leading a good life, in 'Gnagnini' Massa's lyrics stress that all your wants and needs in life are obtainable if you are willing to fight for them. 'Doubabou' reminds us of the importance of listening to the advice of your parents, while Mamadou Dao's song 'Bimogo' warns us against the pitfalls of envy.
For this session, recorded in July of 2013 in Kokrobite, Ghana, the members of Faso Yiriba use a 11 string n'goni (an instrument that closely resembles the 21 string Kora in construction and sound) calabash drum, balafon, and the shaker.
Massa Dembele is currently working as a performer and instructor in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
Mamadou Dao is a performer and mixed media artist who is currently traveling between Accra, Ghana and Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
Notes regarding the recording :
After meeting at Big Millie's Backyard, where the three musicians were performing weekly as part of a larger act, the group and I scheduled time to record some of their original material. In retrospect I was poorly prepared, without proper stands and screens to protect the microphones from the wind. However the talent of these musicians and the beauty of their music easily transcends the limits of my make shift studio (which is visible on the album cover). We are hoping this recording and it's release via Wait and See will be the start of a long, mutually beneficial collaboration.
Included with the album are a couple of rough little videos shot during the recording.
released March 7, 2015
Massa Adama Dembélé - vocals, n'goni, balafon, calabash