the Qadiriya of Senegal
Tabala Wolof is the ritual drum music of a West African Sufi order, the Qadiriya of Senegal. Led by a bass drum during nighttime worship, the Qadiriya play interlocking rhythms on tuned drums to inspire ecstatic singing.
Tabala Wolof evolved in the late 1700s, when the Qadiriya arrived in Senegal. Founded in Baghdad in the 1100s, the Qadiriya is the oldest Sufi order in the world. From the order's beginning, worshipers have played drums and sung prayers to experience God's presence. In Senegal, converts from the Wolof people incorporated traditional Wolof rhythms into Qadiriya worship, to satisfy their own taste and to communicate Qadiriya messages in the Wolof language.
Digitally recorded in Senegal, Tabala Wolof: Sufi Drumming of Senegal presents the drum troupe led by seventh-generation Sufi drummer Boubacar Diagne. Boubacar descends from Mauritanian Berbers who helped introduce the Qadiriya into Senegal.
Seventh-generation Sufi drummer
Boubacar Diagne (in cap) poses
at home with some of his family
and with three of the drums played
by his troupe. His four-year-old
grandson (in red shirt) is already
learning to play.
"Another unexpected find: Tabala Wolof: Sufi Drumming of
Senegal is the sort of recording that, not so long ago, might have languished
obscurely in some ethnomusicologist's collection. Instead, this field recording
of an Afro-Islamic all-night ritual in Senegal (with more danceable beats per
minute than your average 12-inch single) is on the shelves. The booming, almost
martial-sounding polyrhythms of Tabala Wolof's drummers (the rhythms
are meant to push worshipers into trance) are living documentation of the centuries-old
musical interchange between the Islamic world and West Africa. (If you want
to understand more about Youssou N'Dour, check here.) Best of all, the recording
is crisp and alive..."
--Daisann McLane, Rolling Stone
"69 minutes of authentic African Sufi drumming. Recorded on the outskirts of
Dakar during a special midnight to dawn celebration of sprit, it is performed
on [five] tuned drums. This reviewer was impressed by the diversity of tone
quality which was achieved by the various methods used to strike the drums.
Some vocal chanting or 'calling' is heard in various choral combinations, yet
the vocal sounds are definitely a background to the ever moving variety of drum
beats. The performers or rather the participants in this experience play as
one unit and the clarity of the recording is superb."
--Angharad Llewellyn, Heartsong Review
"Men's Chorus" MP3 Format (28 sec, 275 KB)
"Laye Laye" MP3 Format (24 sec, 239 KB)
Title: Tabala Wolof: Sufi Drumming of Senegal
Artist: Boubacar Diagne
Cat. No.: VPU-1002 (CD)
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