Thursday, February 3, 2011


Recorded a master djembe player named Mache and his ensemble by the banks of the Niger on the outskirts of Bamako a couple of days ago. We were in a small field surrounded by a stone wall normally used for livestock. Set-up the computer and Pro Tools 03 under a mango tree with the musicians under another mango tree about 75 feet away.

Th ensemble consisted of a dun dun player ( like a bass drum) two djembe soloists, two djembe accompianists, and a kokanee ( a drum played with a mallet whose pitch is midway between a djembe and a dun dun. The dun dun is also played with a mallet and is set up on it's side with another smaller drum on top of it and a bell on top of that. Double miced the drums as much as possible. Used all dynamic mics, 57s and D112s except for a km184 on the bell and a u87 for ambience. Got some great ambient bounce off of the stone wall.

Had a problem powering up our Presonus mic pres. Powered everything else down then turned on the Presonus and it powered up and stayed on after everything else was turned back on.

The drumming was consciously trance inducing and uplifting. Had to deliberately maintain part of my attention on the recording process. After they got the pieces they had planned for the recording, they tried some newer ones with some quite complicated polyrhythms. Hopefully we'll be able to put those on the cd.

Flew to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia very early the next morning which was quite the adventure. My luggage is still on the adventure, I'm hoping it will turn up today. Staying and writing this from the Intercontinental Hotel. Distressing news out of Egypt ( seen on CNN) but very little mention of it in the local newspapers which I though odd.

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