Study Music in West Africa ... Konteh Kunda Music School
My name is Paul Richard Hill..............Welcome to the music of The Gambia West Africa.
For those of you who live in the UK, I now offer teaching by the hour or workshops by the day. Here
Check out the Music CV.... Testimonials .... and study options .... Here
We can also arrange for lessons around the world on Skype. Payment is via Paypal only
Musicman 1 is the result of 40 years of musical adventure. I left Liverpool in 1962 just as The Beatles were making themselves very much at home. I spent the next 7 years at school like a musical fish in a vaccuum-sealed, waterless pond; consuming every morsel of radio and TV coverage of the explosion that was the "Liverpool Sound" ; it became known as Beat music. Then something extra-ordinary happened. It was 1966, and I rolled the dial on my radio............15 years old and adolescent! The music snaked out of the speaker and into my ear like a viper's tongue!. To this day I can remember the realisation that the columns of sound, the rain like sheets of it that splattered all over me, made me feel that the inside of my very soul was being exposed.
Just as my brain dissolved into a myriad of small unsympathetic parts....a voice announced.........
"that was John Coltrane....live in Antibes"
" A Love Supreme" ....
Coltrane is now featured in the Eclectic African American section of the Video Archive
40 years later, I begin to understand exactly what John Coltrane was doing, but I am still completely unable to do it myself. And neither can you. But you can fill in a few gaps in the bigger picture.
The result of the greatest explosion in creative thinking in the 20th century could be personified by Miles Davis. Have a look at the remarkable similarity between him and the watchman at the National Council for Arts and Culture in Fajara, The Gambia, West Africa. Those Mandinka folk have a point! There are people living here today who are the image of Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Mingus and Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk and Duke Ellington and Count Basie and Fats Waller and Ben Webster and Dexter Gordon and Max Roach and Jack De Johnnette and a whole lot more! Coltrane has that Jola smile! Or is it Wollof?
a Modal Way
Values and Role Models
Miles Davis' final years are testament to a complete understanding of harmony built on modal playing. The Kora has been played that way in the villages of West Africa for more than 600 years. In fact it pre-dates the European guitar and lute by 200 years. It is more likely related to the Celtic harp.
The word "jazz" is pretty much acknowledged as deriving from a wollof word "jahass"..... meaning ..... "a big mix"...."un melange".... so that is what awaits you ; music that is played on the up side of fast, and is as unpredictable as me and you.
The structure of thought that you are reading ends here. From now on ..you are in African time and the philosophy is etheric!
We provide a Musician's Guide to West Africa.
And so to work!
I began my study in West Africa after a chance meeting with Rishala Njie. He was buying a new Kora to take back to Sweden. We travelled to Brikama together to the Jobarteh compound. Tata Dindin was rehearsing his band in the front room.....where else...?....and I immediately fell into the melange that is African rhythm.
What I was not prepared for was the blistering onslaught at pace, and with precision, that I experienced...!
Working with Tata and Salam Band has been a complete revelation. If you would like to enjoy this opportunity, follow the links. I would recommend that you go back to your scales and paradiddles for a while before you come to play in The Gambia!
The Konteh Kunda Music School
Since we began this process in 2005...great progress has been made. The Konteh Kunda Music School is now completed. Tata Dindin's father Malamin Jobarteh and Dembo Konteh grew up in the house of Dembo's father, Alhagie Bai Konteh. They studied and played together for over 70 years. Sadly both have passed away in 2012 and 2013, but they have produced some remarkably gifted children. These are the next generation who will tutor you at Konteh Kunda! Thanks to the efforts of film-maker Jesse Wippert and musician Steve Pile, and input and funds from a lot of people in the USA and West Africa.......the School is a great testament and legacy for the families and Kora players around the world!
Facebook Pulse of the World .....contact the music school direct..... or contact me and I will create a profile for you and provide pre-travel information!
Your check list is Music Profile, Useful Information, FAQs, Musical Ground Rules, and then you can e-mail me. I will forward all of your details to Konteh Kunda. This is a free service designed to facilitate your journey! For those of you that make it, you will find a World of Passion, Presence and Productivity!
I like eccentricity in musical composition I have recently been working on some arrs. of John Lennon and The Rolling Stones. These are curious vehicles for a West African feel, but make the music accessible to Western musical and non-musical ears. Those who wish to study Kora will have personal tuition from some of the most accomplished Kora masters in West Africa! Djembe and Talking Drum specialists are also available!
Please follow this link.