Filed Under (Ethnomusicology, General, Sound Clips) by Rob on 17-06-2006

On Thursday evening, Rob recorded nine new Fon songs performed by one of the ADC churches in Cotonou. Here are some of the choir.

Rob recording choir ADC.jpg(click to enlarge)

…and here’s what they sound like:

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Being an urban setting, the challenges were different from the previous recording; firstly, the church was very echo-ey, which was difficult to overcome. Then there was the big lorry next door, which the guys were trying to start. Thankfully, they agreed to wait a couple of hours before recommencing the whirring! Finally, the church is almost directly under the flight-path for planes landing, so we have a loud roar in the middle of one song, which will need to be edited out! Fun and games!

One interesting instrument this group uses is a series of about 6 cow bells mounted on a frame – listen carefully and you can hear the repeated sequence played through the piece. Sorry, no photo of that yet, but will try and get one another time.

Other News…

The whole of Cotonou seems to have gone WORLD CUP CRAZY!!! Almost every restaurant has a TV with matches on and groups of people gathered round cheering. The recent Ghana-Czech Republic match was very popular – we even heard cheers from our house!

Remember the After Eight Challenge…

The other day, our friends Gaby and Honore came for dinner. After the meal (and watching the Germany-Poland match) we opened the AFTER EIGHTS. Yes, you can get them in Cotonou, but these were special Lemon Sorbet ones, which were a bit wierd, but nice (and they were reduced in the shop!) Well, those who know Rob will know what’s coming next. I couldn’t let the oportunity pass without teaching our Beninese friend the After Eight Challenge!!! Here’s how it works:

1. Take an After Eight (any type, but not too melted)
2. Remove it from its wrapper
3. Place it on your forehead, with the bottom edge parallel to your eyes
4. Now all you have to do is get it into your mouth without touching it!
5. If the After Eight falls off your face, go back to step 3.

Sounds easy??? Have a go! If you lean too far forwards (or nod too vigorously) it will fall off. If you don’t move enough, it’s going nowhere! If you have a long tongue it helps!

Here I am showing him how it’s done:

Rob after 8 challenge.jpg(click to enlarge)

…and here’s Honore having a go (he gave his permission to put this on the site, by the way):

Honore after 8 challenge.jpg(click to enlarge)

He said we should get white chocolate ones for him next time, to improve visibility!

Finally, do you like the shirt above? Well, here’s the full outfit:

Robs new outfit.jpg

I got the ‘musical’ material from ‘Dantokpa’ Market (largest market in West Africa) and had it made into an outfit. I’m tempted to wear it when I arrive at Heathrow, but – then again – I might get locked up if I do!

What d’you think? Should I wear it or not? Let us know – if I get more than 80% affirmative responses, I’ll do it!!!

Bye for now,

Thanks for visiting – do leave us a comment!


11 Comments posted on "More choir recording"
Tom on June 18th, 2006 at 2:40 am #

Rob, definitely wear the outfit when you arrive at Heathrow!!

Since I’m the first to comment on this, this makes it 100% 🙂 – for now!!


Mike McHenry on June 18th, 2006 at 3:33 am #

Hey Nutter!

Don’t wear it!!! Think man of what will become of the English Empire should you show up at Heathrow wearing that, that…thing! No longer will the rest of the world take the English seriously.

Greetings from your ol’ pal Mike. Ate home-cooked Indian food tonight. Christin made cheese stuffed eggplant and ca alors, cela m’a vraiment fait voyagé! Love to the crew at Davia’s. Tell ’em Papa Zoé sent ya.


Tina on June 18th, 2006 at 1:26 pm #

Wear it Rob! Share your love for West Africa with Heathrow. It won’t be the first African outfit they’ve seen at Heathrow – maybe the first on a Yovo!!

Tina (Tom’s wife)

P.S. Tom is going to get his friends to write in to get the stats up! You’re now at 75% for 🙂

Tina on June 18th, 2006 at 1:27 pm #

Sorry that’s 66.6% for – Tom’s bad at math – he wrote the last line – you know musicians – they have a hard time counting higher than 4!!

amanda on June 20th, 2006 at 12:17 pm #

It is very you… in Africa! … but not in UK! I made that mistake after time in Senegal and though I thought I looked great, noone else did…! NO!!! A big, “OH ROBERT” if you do!!

Rob on June 20th, 2006 at 10:48 pm #

That’s 50% to date, folks – maybe I’ll just wear the shirt (…and some plain trousers, of course!!!)

Yaël, Thalia and Noël on June 21st, 2006 at 4:44 am #

“What a big tongue you have!” says Yaël. “What a beautiful shirt, you have to wear it the summer will be hot and this is a proper clothe.” says Noël

Yaël, Thalia and Noël on June 21st, 2006 at 4:54 am #

Rob, “La vie est trop courte pour s’habiller triste”. “Go on…” says Noël.

Rob on June 21st, 2006 at 10:26 am #

Thanks for your comments, Pelegrins – nice to get your pics from Sri Lanka too!

We’re now up to 60% ‘yes’ for the African outfit. Anyone else out there agree???

TSlade on June 21st, 2006 at 3:49 pm #

DO IT! Unless you have a zemidjan shirt instead…

Jackie on June 21st, 2006 at 9:18 pm #

I’m the vote of caution for the musical outfit – NO to the whole thing but yes to the shirt (I’m thinking of Lois too so she can admit to being with you!!!)