NAME OF RHYTHM: Sofa (Sofanee)

Hi All. Does anyone have an interesting group "break" for Sofa/Sofanee?

None of the recordings I have feature anything except a very simple clave break.

Here's the arrangement we play on Oahu:

             1           2           3           4;  4
Call:        @  .  O  o  .  O  .  o  O  .  o  .  O  .  .  .
Kenkeni      x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .
             o  .  .  .  o  .  .  .  o  .  .  .  :  .  .  .  :|


Sangba       x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .
             o  o  .  .  i  .  .  .  o  .  o  .  i  .  .  .  :|


Doun         x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .  x  .
             .  .  .  .  .  .  o  .  o  .  o  .  o  .  .  .  :|


Dj 1         S  .  .  s  S  .  T  t  :|
Dj 2         b  .  T  t  .  .  S  .  :|
Dj 3         T  .  .  t  T  .  .  t  :| (Bass)
COUNTRY: Guinea Highlands (Liner notes, Silo & Le Tambour Djembe)

REGIONAL/ETHNIC GROUPS: Malinke ethnic group of the Kouroussa, Kankan, Faranah



Originally Sofa was the rhythm for the mounted warrior. If war threatened, the warriors were called together by beating enormous kettle drums, TAVELA, also used to transmit messages and news. When Sofa was played, the horses themselves danced, with their horsemen mounted. Famoudou claims to have seen this himself. He is one of a small number of drummers who have mastered this rhythm. Sofa is also played for the funeral of an important man in the village. Famoudou played this rhythm for the burial of his father, who was a fetishist and celebrated hunter. The unique quality of Sofa is that the lead drummer, practically accompanying himself, fills in all the empty spots in the rhythm with light taps. This is easy to detect at the beginning of the recording. (Liner notes, Rhythmen Der Malinke) In true Griot Tradition, Amadou Camara links the two songs of praise KELEMANSA BON and WARABAH together, arranging them thus for Mamady Keita.

By the use of simile and metaphor he evokes both the wild-cat who rules over nature and the warlord, as noble as he can be and whose mother could only be an exceptional woman.  He names Mamady NANKAMA, which can be literally translated as "he who came for that".  He accompanies himself on the BOLON to a rhythm that is particular to songs of praise that are addressed to nobels who have shown their worth.  (Liner notes: Mogobalu) (The version of Sofa on Mogobalu is actually played by Famoudou Konate.)The origins of this rhythm hark back to the time of King Samory; Sofa, at that time, was used only for military parades glorifying kings and their victories.  (Liner notes, Le Tambour Djembe)



Call: Nabaranna dosay nabaranna

Response: Ranna banna koniayaron donay, ah wosankayey (Abdullye Sylla)

The house of a warlord is never empty!

Good evening to you, Nankama.

Not just any woman can give birth to the son of a warlord.

I, I have come to play the Bolon.

I have come full of hope;

Distance is bad for friendship.

It is not good to humiliate he who is popular.

Had not the wildcat arrived?

It is really he, the wildcat who makes the echoes resound.

We are talking about a famous nobleman.

The wildcat who makes the echoes resound.

Good evening to you, Nankama.

We have come full of hope,

Good evening to you, giant!

(Liner notes: Mogobalu)