Historically, music was the primary means of communicating the lives of tribal people and the heroes of the day. Music was also the way to tell stories important for all of life's transitions, how to live, and what to value. This music reflected the life of the spirit of these ancient people and it's importance to inform us about who we are and how we evolved.
As traditional musicians aged, their ancestral music has diminished with them. To insure the continuation of traditional cultures through-out Africa, we must undertake their preservation, promotion and continue making traditional musical instruments that produce unique & distinct sounds. Typically, these are not the sounds produced by symphonic orchestras, electric guitars, modern drums, or electronic synthesizers.
The artisans who make these instruments are rapidly disappearing and the skills needed to produce traditional instruments are not being passed on. Moreover, as global societies evolve, the sounds of the west are replacing unique indigenous music. Nowhere is the crisis more apparent than in Africa today.
During the last 40 yrs, I have recorded ( audio/video ) many of Africa's most celebrated traditional musicians. Consequently, I have witnessed the deaths of these musicians and the erosion of the traditional instruments market, as these treasures are sold as souvenirs. Over the years I have compiled a significant collection of unique African musical instruments and have learned to make a wide variety of drums, xylophones, flute's, violins/fiddles, thumb piano's, harps, lyre's, & zithers!
We are all instruments endowed with feelings and memories. Our senses are so many strings that are struck by surrounding objects and that also frequently strike themselves.....Denis Diderot.( 1713-1784)