Kuné Workshops

Folk songs around the globe

Songs are of central important to our lives, they tell us stories about others and about ourselves. When people travel from place to place they bring their songs with them, they learn new ones and compose their own. Focusing on the folk music traditions of Tibet, Burkina Faso and Brazil, the purpose of this workshop is to explore different song traditions and vocal techniques from different parts of the world. The musician/singers also demonstrate how they integrate their own voices into the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra while balancing tradition and innovation.

This workshop can be tailored to all audiences of all ages, from small children to adults. It can be adapted to a more presentational format (for larger audiences) or to a more participatory format for smaller audiences (up to 60 participants). For larger audiences, a PA system and three or four microphones would be required. Smaller audiences would not require amplification. A presentational version would take around one hour and a participatory version could take up to two hours.

Rhythms from around the globe

The rhythms of the environment, of work, of language, of life, all make their way into music. People of different places throughout history have come up with different ways to express themselves through rhythm. In the same way, each musician from the NCGMO brings their own rhythms into the Orchestra’s music. In this workshop, four musicians will share their knowledge of different rhythmic traditions from the Americas, Africa and Asia. Participants will engage in spoken rhythms, play hand drums, talking drums and body percussion.

This workshop can be adapted to different audiences as well. Starting from grade 3 all the way to adults, these audiences can engage in the participatory aspects of the workshop. For a more presentational masterclass (60 people or more), a PA system and three microphones would be required; for a smaller audience (up to 60 people), a PA system would be useful but not required. Likewise, a presentational format would require around one hour and a more participatory format would take up to two hours. For a hands-on workshop, schools that have percussion instruments should make them available for students or each participant should be required to bring a drum (of any kind).

Music of the African diaspora

The forced and voluntary movement of people across the Atlantic, starting in the sixteenth century, has been a fundamental aspect in the development of the modern world. As people from different cultures were separated from their homes and came into contact with people of other cultures, they resorted to music as a way to make sense of their new situation. In the case of enslaved Africans, music in particular served as a means of cultural resistance, of survival and of adaptation. In this workshop we will explore music traditions from West Africa and the African Diaspora in the Americas with the help of four musicians: a saxophonist from Cuba, a singer-percussionist from Brazil, a bass player from Mexico, a drummer from Peru and a multi-instrumentalist from Burkina Faso. Through songs, drumming and improvisation, participants will experience how we bring these distinct traditions into musical interaction.

This workshop is suitable for high school students, university students or a general adult audience. It is more suitable for a presentational format which would require a PA system with four microphones and a bass amplifier. This format is well suited for large audiences (60 people or more). However, a participatory version is also available for a more specialized audience like university or high school music students. This format would require students to bring their instruments in order to participate. This kind of format is better suited for smaller audiences (up to 60 participants) which could be broken up into smaller sections for more intensive work if additional spaces are available. The presentational format could take between 60 and 90 minutes and a participatory version could take between 120 and 150 minutes.

Melodic improvisation around the world

The expansion of Islam from the Arab peninsula towards Africa and southern Europe to the West, and all the way to Indonesia and China to the East, has left an indelible cultural imprint on places as far apart as Spain, Turkey or India. Musics from these and other places have certain things in common that can be explained by the influence of Muslim culture. In this workshop we will explore the ways in which four musicians from Iran, Greece, Turkey and Pakistan adapt their melodic improvisation traditions to the context of the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra. Participants will experience each of these distinct traditions of improvisation, their differences and commonalities as well as strategies to integrate them.

This workshop is well suited for high school and university students as well as a more general adult audience. A presentational version of this workshop would be well suited for larger audiences (60 people or more) and it would last about one hour. This version would require a PA system and four microphones. A more participatory format would be well suited for smaller audiences (up to 60 people) and it would require participants to bring their own instruments. If additional spaces are available the group can be broken up for portions of the workshop for more intensive work. This format would not require a PA system although access to one would be useful and would take between 120 and 150 minutes.