I greatly enjoyed both the concert and the drumming session with Jon Seligman and Massamba Diop; I unfortunately had to leave the concert early, however, I was able to see the first half including the part where Dr. Esa got pulled up to dance. It was very entertaining to watch and although the movements were just a very basic movement of the hips, they were –for the most part- on the beat to help emphasize the main beats and was a fun way to involve the audience and help to increase their energy. The concert was a very engaging and very high energy experience.
It reflected the description of Arabic music from the reading where a focus is placed on polyrhythmic patterns and on improvisation. From what I could tell at the concert and at the drumming session, there was a basic form to the song; however, they appeared to be improvising over a basic beat. Massamba Diop also appeared to be improvising some with his singing that he was doing over the songs. Some, like ‘Waloo Waloo’ clearly had been performed before and definitely had a basic format, however with others; he appeared to be improvising the majority of his vocalizations.
The polyrhythmic tendencies of Arabic music were also apparent in the drumming of Jon Seligman and Massamba Diop. There were several different rhythms going on at the same time, almost all four players were playing at least some variation on a basic rhythm and together, they formed a completely new distinct rhythm as well adding lots of texture to the piece.
The drumming session was very informative; it was very interesting to learn about the backgrounds of the three main musicians. I enjoyed learning about their views regarding different topics like Islam and how the media has affected their traditions and culture.
The concert was a lot of fun to watch and the drumming session was very interesting to be a part of; I enjoyed both of them greatly and it was a lot of fun to be able to be a part of the session as well as attend the concert.