As the day journeyed on its own timeline, we had made our way to the banks of the little stream that separated two hills around the area where our school was located. Above us, the skies shimmered and gleamed with cascading gradients and shades of blue, punctuated here and there with an occasional whispery splash of yellow and white. The green fields around us, on the side of the banks of the stream, bustled with the excited sounds of birds and the whirrs of insects intermingling with the whooshing sounds of corn stalks rising in neat rows from the bottom of the valley to the crest of hills. We had come to this little stream searching for tadpoles and the tasty fruits which grew along its banks.
The Exuberant Chants of The Midday.
We had not been long at that little stream, before the music came streaming to us, at first in nebulous and undulating waves, seemingly like cascading layers of variegated aural stanzas floating in voluminous effusive blobs, vibrating and propulsive with diverse tonal variations. Its compelling aura suddenly moving aside everything within our consciousness of the moment, as it gently focused the mind’s attention towards the direction of the source.
ta’ ta’ taaah… te’ dem
ta’ ta’ taaah…te’ dem…
ta’ta’ta’ta… taaah… te’dem …
The powerful reverberating echoes of the music filled the atmosphere as it rose upwards in sono-poetic spirals, its multidimensional aural imprints sculpting and wrapping an evocative rhythmical clothing around the entire environment in sonic glyph like formations, texturing and inducing resonances from everything around the area.
ra’ta’ta’ta’… ta’ta’tah’ te’h te’dem
The music rose and swelled unto an exalted state, solo drums peaking in porphyritic crescendos, each accented note cascading like myriads of multiple voices tunneling forward and perching on the cusp of our consciousness. Spurring and inducting us into its transcendent state. Its piercing intensity, rose and diminished in a gradual subsiding diminuendo of stomping foot rattles that tapered to a hesitant pause, leaving all of us in awe of its thunderous and numinous power. Instantaneously it picked up again with more vigor, gushing and pouring forth, again and again in tantalising and teasing waves, swirling and engulfing all of us into a sympathetic quanglement where the experiencers, the experiencing and the experience became entangled within that inexplicable matrix of oneness.
After all, the constituent elements and building blocks of the biology or the psychology of being takes its roots and origin from the universe, it would then seem that nothing was amiss when it all comes together simultaneously in the moment when the music is able to induce everything to vibrate and resonate at same frequency with the same intensity.
Ebullient and ineffable with multiple tonal and shifting evanescent exuberance, the ambient atmosphere with its reverberated colourings of the universes of things, had collapsed those opaque borders between mind and the realities of an unnameable, unexplored realms of emotions, feelings, psychokinesis, evocative symbols, imageries, forms and even of faculties which were not yet known to us.
ta’ta’ du’tata du dum…, ta’ta du’ta’ta du dum…
The sonorous voices of the bass drums continued to boomed over the hills in thicken and bold vertical stanzas, their dense pulses layering a storyline with a patterned recursive and cyclic voicing. This unfolding and steady propulsive beat was stencilling the rhythmic structural timeline. Upon this timeline, the melodic lines of cowbells, rattlers and horns, sat as idiomatic and motivic containers, profusely painting alternating melodic and percussive lines with intervallic patterns in between the dense textural rhythms of the log drums. Even without a physical presence at the performance space, the encoded scenes and images, movements and events were being conveyed to us via aural transmission and simultaneously being decoded. We heard, we experienced and lived the moment without being present, the entire gamut of constantly changing patterns, dancers, people, clothing, elements all appearing as an amorphous gigantic kaleidoscope of colours and sounds.
As the sounds rose up once more into a frenzied crescendo, accented and emphasised by solo tenor drummers intervening with rippling tremolos, rolling percussive chants, punctuating the rhythmic continuum, the voices of the singers accompanied the new movement delicately with lyrical melodic lines, evocative of the timeless.
ah tata tum ke li’bam beh…! eh e—h li’bam beh…
oh yah ho ho—ho…. eh e—h li’bam beh….
So it came, permeating and flooding the totality of our beings with its essence, finding and anchoring on those corresponding sympathetic resonance nodes within the mind and activating our bodies deep down at the cellular level.
The left feet and then the right tapped rhythmically, followed by the gesticulations of the hands in left-right, right-left patterns and the entire body dramatically rising up and merging with the persuasive mood and mould of the music.
The ceremonious performance that was unfolding just around the corner from where we were, had completely engulfed us within its universes of imagery and sound, symbols and evocative sceneries, it’s incantatory voicing extruding variegated visual and aural narratives, each with a story enfolded within a story, layered in an onion like matrix of deep time, shifting to connect with events of the now and receding to disappear and reappear behind memory nodes, memories whose eviscerating tones had kicked the minds imaging and intuitive faculties into a hyperactive sensing mode.
spirits of the hills and valleys…
permeates and touches all…
your embedded presence…
is the signature tune
we have eaten the Sun…
it’s flames has not singed our being …
and we dance to the rhythm of your breath….
The overwhelming potency of the moment pervaded everywhere. Experience, experiencer, hills, valleys, stream, people, sun, things, and all were merge as a totality.
It had, it would seemed, nudged aside everything of the present moment into a temporary time container within the unknown layers of being, whilst it summoned to the surface of consciousness via its symbolic languages a transcendent world of inspirational possibilities.
1.) First Sound Track, Title; Sounds Of The Savanna | Tanka Fonta | Released: 2021. Track 1. Genre: Art Music
2.) Second Sound Track, Title; Nùn Vó Mbómmùn Ndzi Ya M’Boh Ti | Tanka Fonta | Released: 2021. Track 1. Genre: Composed Music
3.) Second Sound Track, Title; Sounds Of The Savanna | Nùn Vó Mbómmùn Ndzi Ya M’Boh Ti | Tanka Fonta | Released: 2021. Track 1. Genre: Composed Music
4.) Chum’che’rerehs1 : Local Bantu name for an insect belonging to the cricket family.
5.) Mun’karis2. A farming technique practised by the Ngembas of the NW Region in Cameroon.