N'Goni Workshops with Jeremy Cloake
Join us for a weekend of intimate workshops with world-renown musician and instrument maker Jeremy Cloake, creator of Resonance N’Goni. Visiting our community from his home in New Zealand, Jeremy will be holding small ensemble classes and sharing his knowledge of the ancient West African N’Goni and its associated cultural context based on decades of experience working with and learning from griot custodians.
N'goni (ngoni) are west African rhythm harps. The Donso N'goni is the six string harp of the traditional hunter societies from the historic Wassoulou region of Mali, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso. The word Donso can be translated as hunting or hunter. For this reason the Donso N'goni are also known as the hunters harp. Donso N'goni are ceremonial instruments, used by hunters to accompany traditional chanting and storytelling. They often have a shaker called a Kesing Kesing (also known by many other phonetic names) that is attached to the top of the instrument and vibrates when being played. Donso N'goni are usually played together with the Karagnan (also called Kariyan or Kassa Kassa), a serrated metal tube that is scraped with a metal stick.
N'goni are held with both hands and the strings are plucked with the thumbs and index fingers. The hand positioning feels very natural and people new to n'goni often comment on how comfortable it is and how easy it is to produce beautiful sounds. We will be playing pentatonic N’Gonis which, because of their tuning, sound good regardless of the strings plucked, so it is impossible to play a 'bad' note. This makes it easy for anybody to play and enjoy.
We are intentionally limiting enrolments to Jeremy’s classes to maintain the integrity of small and concentrated groups of four. Please select your preferred time in the registration options. The precise address of our private venue in Belgrave will be emailed to participants prior to the workshop commencement. All N’Goni’s and auxiliary instruments will be provided and special offers for instrument sale given to students. Everyone is welcome irregardless of prior musical experience or training.
Jeremy Cloake is a New Zealander of Celtic and Māori ancestry. Similar to the griot traditions of West Africa, Jeremy descends from a long line of musicians. One of his Celtic ancestral names is Harpur, which literally means harp and pipe player. His Māori ancestry is from Te Wai Pounamu and includes the Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe and Kāi Tahu musical and carving traditions. He was introduced to the n'goni in 2005, and since then has embraced the instrument both as a player and maker. It is his commitment to acoustic and aesthetic quality and his fine attention to detail that drives Jeremy to constantly innovate and improve the n'goni he makes. As testament to Jeremy's work, recently African master n'goni players began seeking his instruments to use as their own n'goni. For more info about Jeremy, including media links, click on the link.