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Listening Journal No.

Butsu Mutandari
The instrument sounds similar to a music box or like a cross between something plucked
and a vibraphone. I find the melody/consistent rhythm to be almost hypnotic having a similar
effect to a lullaby (though with a bit more energy). I found it interesting that the vocals only
occurred once towards the beginning of the recording. Im also curious as to how many people
are playing, it sounds like it could potentially be just one. The lower voice acts as an ostinato
while the top voice(s) plays subtly varying melodies.

Cntico Para Exu


The rhythm/groove is the dominating musical element in this example. It feels settled as
well as human (by that I mean lack of precise quantization). Theres a fanfare like intro from
some horns that lead to voices that move in call and response between a leader and a group. It
feels similar to a prayer or a meditation of some sort.

Cuba Linda
The drum intro feels like a choreographed dance piece. I was surprised to hear a full
band enter after that. The harmony feels similar to an F minor blues. Again to me the dominating
musical element appears to be the groove. It feels so relaxed and joyous at times.

Homenaje a Chach
Its interesting to hear the diatonic melody with the pitch of the drums. It almost sounds
like a pedal point which gives the melody another character. The voices have this flowing,
cascading kind of feeling. The harmonies that enter at ~3:40 are lush and beautiful. This sounds
like celebratory music.

Omayaoe
The lead male voice has a beautiful raspy quality to it. The chorus seems to respond in
pentatonic like structures. I found this piece to be rather static. Nothing really seems to change
or build it stays at a rather relaxed level throughout. I found it difficult to stay interested after
about ~1:30/2 minutes in.

Amajiro
Im not sure if the buzzing sounds are due to the recording or are musical instruments or
vocal effects of kind. This one put me in a trance that would go deeper as the music got faster.
The ensemble feels locked and moves as a unit. It almost sounds like rubber or a similar
material being stretched and compressed. The higher drums sound like boomerangs the way
theyre pitched. This piece was my favorite of this journals selections.

Consuelate Como Yo
The melodies feel very scalar and twisty. The ensemble is bigger than I thought it would
be when the recording first began, which seems to keep happening. The twisty scalar lines grow
into these rich harmonies that all still feel centered around the major scale. The overall vibe
feels almost wistful and nostalgic to me.

Balafon Music from Bobo-Dioulasso Burkina Faso


The melodic instrument(s) feel similar to the ones of the first example. The female vocals
have this intense vibrato that reminds me of yodeling. The instruments almost start to sound
electronic like a synth and programmed drums while retaining their humanistic qualities. Im
curious as to how much of the vocalist is improvising.