Thanks for taking the time to visit us at the Singing Wells project.
Here are some of our favourite stories and links to pages where you can read more. If you would like to listen to a sample of the music that the Singing Wells project has recorded between 2011 and 2013, then please click here.
We met Tiny Moses during our field trip to record the music of the Batwa in southern Uganda in late 2011. He arrived at the Travellers Rest hotel with the other members of the Micyingo community. He turned up to record with his home made guitar in his hand. We recorded him playing a few tracks with his and then we recorded him playing his guitar with our Influences artist, Winyo.
He was then part of the group who travelled by bus to Nairobi to record some of his songs in the Ketebul studio.
To read more about Tiny Moses and our original meeting, click here for the field report from that day.
To visit the group page for the Micyingo community, click here: Micyingo
To listen to the album of the Music of the Batwa, click here: The Batwa of Kisoro
We met and recorded Okumu K’Orengo with his ‘Nyatiti Group’ as part of our field trip to record the music of the Luo in Nyanza in Kenya in December 2011.
The group gave a great performance, one of the pieces ‘Ywak’ – a funeral song has featured on every ‘Best of’ Singing Wells compilation to date.
It was with great sadness that we learnt after returning to the UK that Okumu K’Orengo had died, just weeks after we had recorded him – a tragic story that underlines the mission behind the Singing Wells project and the aims we have to record music in East Africa.
To visit the group page for the Nyatiti group click here: Nyatiti Group
To listen to the track ‘Ywak’ on the album of the Music of the Luo, click here: The Luo of Kenya
To learn about the instrument the Nyaiti, check out the instrument page here: Nyatiti Instrument page
We met Jovah on the second day of our trip to record the music of the Batwa in South West Uganda. We travelled out of Kisoro to the village of Mperwa.
The Mperwa dancers performed in their village in a lush setting in front of cultivated hillsides and the Viriunga volcano.
Jovah takes a lot of pride in her music and is full of passion for the traditional music of the Batwa people. She was one of the members of the community who travelled to Nairobi to record at Ketebul Studios. One of her recordings was used for a special collaboration with Abubilla Music musicians. To listen to that, click here: http://snd.sc/18Raaae
To view the page for the Mperwa Dancers, click here: Mperwa Dancers.
Ker Kal Kwaro
We recorded the Ker Kel Kwaro group on our second day of recording in Northern Uganda. We were in the village of Awach, near Paibona which in turn is near Gulu.
A lot of the traditional music we record is performed by older members of the community. We were pleased to see a young group of musicians passionately performing their music for us.
To visit the group page for Ker Kal Kwaro, click here: Ker Kal Kwaro.
To listen to the album of music from our Northern Uganda trip, click here: The Music of the tribes of Northern Uganda
Otacho Young Stars
We recorded the Otacho Young Stars in Rongo, Nyanza, West Kenya as part of our field visit to record the music of the Luo. It had been a bad day up to that point – we had been hit by a spell of rain. We changed location to Dinky’s Resort Club in Rongo, and the first group we recorded was the Young Stars. Their brand of traditional music songs brightened our day immensely. Their song Charles Manager tells the story of a plantation manager they thank for simply doing his job. We invited them back to Nairobi in March 2012 to record their songs in the studio with producer Jesse Bukindu.
To listen to the album of music of the Luo (including the studio version of ‘Charles Manager’ click here: The Luo of Kenya
To go to the page for the Otacho Young Stars, click here: Otacho Young Stars.
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 trying to help preserve traditional music is to try and make it relevant to today’s audiences and musicians and this goes a long way to helping.
Since the field trip, we are pleased to report that Akello has been performing more with the Watmon Cultural Group (our group of the month for September – read more about that here.
To read more about Akello and her part in Influences, click here: Akello
To hear her collaboration with the Watmon Cultural Group – Amari – click here: 2011 – 2013 sampler CD
Winyo Shipton is a singer songwriter from Kenya. He joined us on our first trip to coastal Kenya to record the music of the Mijikenda. On the first session we recorded, in Gede, Winyo helped to create the Influences series by recording with Nyerere Wa Konde and his son Mr Bado.
You can read more about the first influences session by clicking here: First Influences.
Winyo also accompanied us on our trip to record the Batwa of Kisoro and the Luo of Kenya.
Abubilla Music also supported the release of his debut album: The Benga Blues. To listen to and buy a copy of that, head here: The Benga Blues
Sagat Traditional Dancers
We recorded the music of the Sagat Traditional Dancers as part of our trip to record the music of the Kalenjin in the Rift Valley of Kenya in March 2012. The recording location was stunning.
The group performed their piece ‘Chemuso’, which tells the story of the Marakwet people and their journey from their original home in Israel, following the path of the Nile into Sudan, down to Munt Elgon and then to their present home.
This group, as with so many others throughout Africa, tell the story of their forefathers through music and dance – the dancers imitating the Nile as it snakes through Africa.
To find out more about the day of recording the Marakwet, view the field report.
To listen to the music of the Kalenjin, check out the Kalenjin of Kenya.
To visit the group page for the Sagat Traditional Dancers, visit their page here.
If you haven’t signed up to the Singing Wells mailing list – please do. It is the best way to keep up to date with the project, our plans for recording and our latest content releases. You can do that below in the footer of the page.
If you would like to hear more about the history of the Singing Wells project, then please check out our Podcasts on our Podcast Page