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Central Uganda: Day 3 – From Mbale to Iganga to Jinja Story

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…cautioned not to break the plants as we found a quiet place to talk to Julius. Julius has an amazing story. He was orphaned in 1995 at 9 years old. He struggled through his teens with no support, but found his way gradually as a musical performer, working with the National Theatre and various troupes around Mbale. He was always extremely proud of his tribe, the Bagisu, and always wanted to do something musically building off his own culture. He al…

Ten More Singing Wells Stories News

…ises for… doing his job. I love this! Influences: what can happen when we fuse this music. These are just two humble examples of what can happen when you start bringing these musicians to the studio. If you only have a minute (and by this time you’re probably out of minutes) skip to the middle of these songs to see interesting things start happening: 71 Hours to Monday A silly little song that gets hi-jacked in the third verse and taken lord knows…

Current Leading Figures News

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Published in: News & Views

…of Selam, a non-Governmental organisation based in Stockholm that promotes world music, and NACOFU (National Council of Folklorists of Uganda) . A Ugandan himself, the preservation, recording and archiving of his country’s music is very close to his heart. He believes “Ugandan Folk Music is the sincere, honest expression of my country’s values, feelings, thoughts, musics, history, aspirations……not copied from any where, not just learned but inheri…

Music Depositories and Archives around the World News

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Published in: News & Views

…) main aim is ‘to provide access to sound recordings and images of indigenous music from communities in Africa and the Americas’ and, as it is a public facility, it achieves this aim by allowing public access to the archive onsite and online. It states that the GMA tries to be inclusive, rather than exclusive, with material and will look at origin, idiom, transmission, and style of performance when debating whether it is relevant to their collecti…

A History of Recording East African Music News

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Published in: News & Views

…archiving African Music, particularly in their country of origin. He gave frustrating examples of tapes being stored in terrible conditions, archives being so disorganised that, even with funding, it would take 20 years to archive properly and equipment being broken because it was not used according to instructions. However, there were examples that gave hope for the archiving of East African music, in Africa; ‘I visited the Ethiopian archives whi…

ILAM, Repatriation and Jimmie Rodgers/Chemirocha News

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…the music, it makes it abundantly more rich and interesting. We live in a world of musical circles. There is no doubt that Jimmie Rodgers music was inspired by and build upon the influences of Black-American music, and it is only fitting that his work filtered back to Kenya. We find this circular tale in all music we are recording – most notably the massive influence of gospel on East African music, which, in turn was created in large part by Bla…

James Isabirye and Tabu Osusa Discuss East African Music News

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…ing to make a quick buck. We want to take short cuts. So we sing American music because some other artist has done all the work – we just have to sound a bit like them. But we don’t. It is a bad copy. But it feels easier to do that than it does to work with a traditional instrument, to learn how to be a good player, a good performer. To do something unique. That is too hard. It seems easier to copy a Beyonce video. Tabu: And the copies never work….

Report from Womex 2013 News

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Published in: News & Views

…lculated that music is their biggest export and so has set up the African Music Forum to make it easier for musicians to make a living – from visas and flights to financial support. It is an exciting time, and seems to chime in with what Eddie Hatitye announced for Music in Africa. Members of the Music Producers Guild led a discussion on ‘What do producers actually do?‘ – the answer seems to be ‘everything’. The role of producer has many meanings,…

SWP Uganda 2013 – our proposed itinerary News

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…Tales from the Acoustic Planet’ won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album. Day 7 & 8: Music of the Baganda and ‘Influences’ After five days travelling in the field we will head back to the city for our final two days of recording which will focus on the music of the Baganda and also the recording of new newly arranged songs for our Influences series. First, our Baganda musicians. We will be recording Albert Bissaso Ssempeke, who…

The Key to Sustainable Aid in Africa? Perhaps we should follow the music. News

…icians and dancers, sound and video engineers, and a bit to pay African drivers to bring us to the villages. These monies are used to pay the performers and record the performance. These monies are used to keep the music alive and to help in a small but very critical way to keep the performers focused on the music, so the music can support the village, so the village can support the communities and the communities can become a channel for aid and…

What people say about Singing Wells News

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…cked out your project…it’s great that you are dedicated to keeping indigenous music alive. Very best wishes and I hope we can keep in touch.” Scott Mathews, Music Producer, California: “…what you are doing as a non-profit is very special and soulful. I firstly want to congratulate you on your efforts and achievements and secondly let you know I am here in California wondering if there is anything I can do to help out…? If the timing wasn’t so tigh…

The Singing Wells supports Ketebul Music’s ‘Kenya at 50’ project News

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…Salaam for Hi Fielity promotions. In later life, he was involved less in music and his business interests widened to include that of the Photo Me franchise in Kenya. His daily diaries between the years of 1970 and 2003 are comprehensively written and prove and interesting insight into life in Nairobi at this time. His diary writings tail off towards the end of his life. He died in Nairobi, on the 24th January 2004, aged 84. Colmore was a keen pho…

The Beat of Kenya News

…drea explained that she was planning an exhibition of traditional African musical instruments and during her research she had come across Singing Wells. We were able to provide Andrea with some information about the instruments and, importantly, some photos and videos of the instruments being played, which are from our field trip to Western Kenya in November 2011. The instruments now on display at the Manitoba Museum were donated to the museum in…

A quick summary of the Singing Wells Project News

…nd of Freedom, some of them playing the Likembe. The government forces in frustration spared the extended band and went to the next village. Again, the elder led the village men in a rendition of Uganda Land of Freedom. They went to village after village and everyone could play the song and everyone was a member of the band. The band leader had learned after the slaughter of the village next door two years before and has spent the months in betwee…

Victoria’s reflections on field trip to Northern Uganda News

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…orld that is hidden inside Sing us your history and dance us your life In musical words where your heritage lies We travel a road of music discovery The map and the route to cultural recovery We witness your history, your stories unfurl We capture your memories to share with the world You travel a road and must keep on walking And peddling the wheels that keep your world turning Years distance the pain of the conflict and strife Your music your sa…

A recording studio which fits into the back of an SUV Story

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…ic production. The microphones we have chosen are industry standard models used in studios the world over but, most likely, not seen in the villages of East Africa. The equipment has been carefully selected so it can easily fit into a few holdalls and four rugged peli-cases which protect everything while in transit, whether it be on a plane from Nairobi or in the back of the van on a bumpy track to one of the remote villages we are heading for. We…