Home videos to keep you in the loop about what’s happening in the tribe between official releases 😀 [ #workinprogress playlist on YouTube ]

New tune inspired by Sorsornet – a lively and cheerful traditional rhythm (and its accompanying song) from the Boke region in Guinea – for you to enjoy! The mask is in the village…

This is AfuriKo’s arrangement of the lovely Kayōkyoku (Japanese pop music) melody “Kassai,” written by Taiji Nakamura (music) and Ou Yoshida (lyrics). The song was popularized by Naomi Chiaki and won a Japan Record Award in 1972. It’s a fun challenge trying to retain its “pop” vibe while adding an AfuriKo edge to it, with chords at the fringe of the tonal system and changing meters 🙂

“Sorsornet” is a rhythm from the Boke region in Guinea. The chord progression came from harmonizing Mamady Keïta’s version (on his album “Nankama”) of one of the traditional songs that go with the rhythm (AfuriKo’s arrangement will be featured on the duo’s upcoming album…) The chords I use in this video are mostly 5-note 2-hand jazz voicings. You’ll hear quartal/”So What” voicings (and some of their inversions) as well as upper structure triads (USTs). I’ve added a bass line on the microKORG and a cool djembe part (with foot shakers/rattles) played by the wonderful Akiko Horii 🙂 Enjoy and feel free to get in touch if you’d like to know more about comping techniques! You can book a lesson via Lessonface here: https://www.lessonface.com/ref?id=2f7

This new composition (we’re practicing the solo section here…) is based on Bolokonondo, one of our favourite from the Dununba “family” of rhythms. It flows in a hip 7 measure cycle in 12/8 time. Although it’s not featured here, we also came up with a quirky melody on this (a tune that’s also full of space to let the music breathe and the rhythm stand out), and the harmony is loosely inspired by a general Weather Report vibe, with a fair dose of 7b9 and 7alt chords 🙂

New tune by AfuriKo inspired by Agahu, a deep rhythm originally created by the Egun speaking people of Ketonu. We have two sections so far: an African sounding melody originally written by Akiko on balafon, and a contrasting funky bit harmonized by Jim.

Adzolowoe is a song traditionally sung by the Ewe people of Ghana. It’s related to a rhythm called Atsia. However, we chose to combine it with one of the Dununba rhythms instead, which stem from the Hamanah region in Guinea. The particular rhythmic pattern that Akiko orchestrated on her set is a three bar cycle in 12/8, so we had to slightly adjust the melody to make it fit.

For this opening section, Jim chose to harmonize the melody with quintal voicings (chords based on perfect fifths), which gives it strength, assertiveness, and connectedness to the Earth element. These characteristics happen to suit the lyrics very well: the message is about persevering in one’s own path, and not minding other people bragging, talking negatively or gossiping… The pitches in the melody form a D minor pentatonic, which reinforces the choice of 5ths for the harmony.