about valerie
about barry
the gyil
current events
mailing list
contact us

Zie_Mwea-Tray-imageZie Mwea (Natural Conditions)
Ancient Keyboard Music
of West Africa

Bernard Woma, Valerie Dee Naranjo, Barry Olsen

Music for Gyil, Kuar, Voices and Dancing.

MN 5301

1. Pog Tona (hard working woman) 7:22
2. Dome Yang Mhaa (the enemy is happy) 6:19
3. Nifaa Mi Kpi (the bad person has died) 6:38
4. A Ni Been (the loner is thinking) 8:09
5. Milgala Mil Gongolo (if you gossip) 6:51
6. Kola Per Bir (cat and mouse) 1:19
7. A Ni Fa Bie (a bad person’s child must also eat) 6:09
7. Yaa Yaa Kole (keep beggin’ baby) 6:01
8. Naamwin in Nu Tom (God has sent me) 8:40

POG TONA (hard-working woman) is a bagr binne song: traditional music played, in past times, only during the initiation of people into the Bagr religious practice. Later on this style was adapted "for work and happiness." Often when people get together to execute a community project, musicians are called in to supply the happiness. Since colonial times bagr binne is played by school children or teachers so that the students who have been playing in the schoolyard can march into lines in order to proceed to class in an orderly fashion. Here the women's chorus is reminiscent of the gatherings of women who repair roofs, complete farming projects, sew clothes, bake bread, and lately, run businesses, found schools and the like—collectively. The song's title, "Pog Tona," means "hard-working woman."

DOME YANG MHAA (the enemy is happy) is an old funeral song played to announce the death and to honor a man of leadership age. The vocal treatment show the styles connection to popular music in the diaspora.

NIFAA NI KPI (the bad person has died) is a composition "The person has died and his enemies become happy." If someone in the community is fond of standing up for justice or speaking the truth, and those around him do not like the truth, they will delight at his passing.

A NI BEEN (the loner is thinking) "If a person is alone thinking, he is either savoring his good fortune or dreading his fate." The spirit behind an act is as important as the action itself. This song has a prelude of voices without instruments, since gyil music comes from the melodies that people sing.

MILGALA MIL GONGOLO (if you gossip) This Bewa-style dance gives good common sense advice: "if you gossip about others, you yourself will be the subject of vicious gossip."

KOLA PER BIR (cat and mouse) Sung without instruments, this song is taken from an old gyil recreational song.

A NI FA BIE (a bad person's child must also eat) is one of the Dagara people's important festival songs. "The bad person's child must also eat."

YAA YAA KOLE (keep beggin' baby) is a recreational song in the Bewa style, often danced all night during the full moon. This one offers a bit of teasing: "If you ask a woman over and over for her hand and she refuses, just keep begging. When she is satisfied she will surely give in."

NAAMWIN NU TOM (god has sent me) composed by Bernard Woma, talks about his God-given talent as a gyil player. "Fuu saa tuur me." Even if you insult me, I will continue to play. "Naamwil nu tome," God has sent me. "Kpulankyee na," it is an addiction.

Read more.

Available through on-line and regular CD retailers.


Copyright © 1999-2005 Valerie Naranjo and Mandara Music. All Rights Reserved.
Site by: Dancing Planet MediaWorks