Emmanuela Yogolelo

When African and Indian Musical Traditions Meet’. Part One.

As a singer-songwriter who specialised in traditional African singing, I wonder what kinds of melodies I would produce if I had an opportunity to work with musical traditions from other parts of the world.

Well lucky me; we are about to find out.

I am delighted to announce the launch of my collaborative project with Jaydev Mistry, thanks for a support from Opera North: ‘Resonance Lockdown Edition’.

Jaydev is a percussionist and composer who has worked in the music industry for over 20 years. He plays guitar and does music technology too in a wide variety of styles with an extreme musical flexibility.

Jaydev has composed music and designed sounds for Red Ladder Theatre Company, Theatre in the Mill, Greater Manchester Music Action Zone, BBC Radio 4 and others. Industry awards he has received include Amnesty International Media Award 2005 for collaborative work on BBC radio 4 docudrama Bhopal.

I am particularly interested in collaborating with Jaydev for the Indian classical music he uses in his compositions, ie the Indian Raga. This music is different from Western classical music where there are only 12 major scales and 12 minor scales. It also differs from traditional African music, which has shaped my entire practice.

Raga involves drones rather than chords meaning even more freedom for a singer to improvise. Raga arrangements vary, however typically this music has a free section with no time signature, rhythm or lyrics. Melodic elements and rhythm are introduced at some point and the overall music can get tense.

I grew up in the central region of Africa listening to rhythmic music. Typically there, music is played in major, minor and pentatonic scales. Lyrics and singing/vocals are big features of music and the way singing lands depends on strong beats. (More on features of traditional central African music in the next post).

I will explore and experiment fusing different musical traditions from African and India together and ‘When African and Indian musical traditions meet’ will conclude with some new Afro-Raga fusion music/songs both Jaydev and I will write together.

Which of my African musical traditions are going to be fused with Raga? Is it going to be Agwaya, chanting or polyphonic harmonies?

Let’s find out soon in up coming posts.

To stay updated on this project and projects I will be doing in the future, keep visiting this blog. I will be uploading more posts; songs I write; performances I do and general topics related to my practice here.

I will soon be offering my normal services and new bespoke ones online. Fees are based on Musicians Union rates.

Services I currently am offering are

African singing workshops

A training in using African musical traditions as technique to create interactive pieces and performances

Improvisation sessions with me around singing, song writing and African polyphonic singing/harmonies

For more information on these services or inquiries, send an email via the contact page. sremmanuela@googlemail.com or call on 07868591070

Until next time, please kindly subscribe for this blog (AT THE BOTTOM OF HOME PAGE); like; share; spread the word and leave constructive comments.

Thank you.

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