An act of compassion as lending a helping hand on farmlands of the old or the sick (called Senessounian) is also celebrated with music and dance. Upon his return, Mamady’s sister performs the Moribayassa. No matter what the occasion, we find that the djembe is always present. Many instances in the documentary reiterate that the djembe and the African music are mutually inclusive. It is one of the key elements driving the music.
Their firm beliefs are deeply rooted in the culture. They half contribute to the richness of art. For instance, the master attributes years of his tireless and painless playing to a treatment with the extract of a ‘special plant’ done by his first teacher, Karinkajdan Kondé.
Having returned to Conakry and the musicians he grew up with, even after 6 years, they shared a non-verbal understanding of the way each one played. Mamady mentioned that he never has to worry about his solos when playing with them because of this understanding and the fact that they’re incredibly skilled. Also, because this music and the rhythm runs in their blood.
Playing the djembe is an arduous activity but he never seems to treat it as such. He is as natural and effortless as they come. Every beat translates to an expression. He is testimony to the fact that skill is not the only asset necessary for musicianship. Our experiences, the magnitude of our surrender shape the delivery of that skill.
Anubha Kaul, Singer and student at NMIMS School Of Performing Arts, Mumbai