Paul’s Rhythm Journey: Mende

Today I have been creating Rhythms in a Sequencer called Percussion Studio,, in order to assist a group I taught at the weekend with their ongoing learning.

This is a rhythm called Mende, and is a composition of mine that was inspired by a series of workshops with a drummer from the Caribbean, who went by the name of Roger,some 15 years ago at a Festival called The Tribe of Doris

The rhythm is in a simple 4/4 structure and combines a number of instruments.

The piece is counted in by a Shaker, before the Djembe drum calls the group to a response.

In this version the group is only using one drum, a Tumba, in order to aid with the learning by keeping things simple.

You will then hear a sequence of the Tumba rhythm layered on top of the Shaker.

A second hand drum is then introduced, in this case the Djembe, and the two rhythms weave about each other in a motif that is supported by the steady shaker part.

The third drum sound to arrive is a Bass set called Dun Dun. Traditionally a set of three, we are using only two of them in this piece, the Dun Dun (Bass Tone) and the Sangban (Mid Tone), leaving the higher pitched Kenkeni to one side, although it is worth noting that I have written a variation of the rhythm which has added a Kenkeni part.

Now the whole ensemble is present and we move towards a Break in the rhythm which is essentially a call and response motif. The higher pitched Djembe calls and the Tumba/Djembe combo answer before the ensemble returns to the main groove for a while. The final part is another Djembe call to end.

For those of you that are perhaps not musical or rhythmic I hope the explanation provides some deeper insight into what is essentially a form of language.

Here is the sound file hosted by Soundcloud. I hope you enjoy.
Click the Orange button to play.

6 thoughts on “Paul’s Rhythm Journey: Mende

  1. Mr. Atheist says:

    There is something here. I think I’ve listened to this ORANGE BUTTON thing twice.

    I keep adding a little horn and flute in my head. The rhythm is simple yet complex and textured. I love it.

    It’s transportative and your “Walk Through” is excellent. I just wish it was 43 minutes longer.

    Thank you!!!

    • paulscribbles says:

      Horn and Flute would be interesting…..43 minutes would be a big WAV file though…Good to see you back…Work getting in the way of blogging huh?

      • Mr. Atheist says:

        I like the idea of a the Afro-Cuban sound this evokes. Adding the brass would only deepen the melody and serve as great counterpoints to the rhythms here.

        Work is definitely getting in the way of blogging. As soon as I get on a “Regularish” schedule I will pick up fingers and let them land where they please on my keyboard…

        How’s your sched? How do you balance it all?

  2. paulscribbles says:

    You don’t wanna know…I will, I think, Blog about my impending Bankruptcy shortly. I have more time on my hands than I would like 😉

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