Duckpond House Concert No. 8
Lamine Sonko & One Africa
25 August 2012

It seems it's either a feast or a famine. After three house concerts in 8 weeks earlier this year,
the Duckpond has been without live music for over 3 months, because none of the artists
on our wish list have been available. However, the drought was broken
when the vibrant rythms
of African music were heard live for the first time at the Duckpond as we welcomed
Lamine Sonko
and One Africa. And not just music, but the story behind the music.


Born in Senegal, West Africa, but now based in Melbourne, Lamine kicked off what was to be
an unforgettable evening, singing alone in his gentle but
distinctive voice.


Lamine was soon joined by his two brothers, Ousmane Sonko and Seydou Sow. Members of
a family of 'Griots', which means Culture Keepers, they told us how they grew up in a culture of
song, drumming and dance. Together, they were to take us on a musical journey through Africa.


Part of that journey was an enlightening description
of the various drums, including the little African talking drum
and the djembe seen here, that they brought with them.
The talking drum is flexible so that its pitch can be changed
by squeezing it under the armpit, and is used to mimic
the human voice. Ousmane sang a few phrases and
Lamine was able to echo them on the talking drum.


The music and songs from these three were exciting - and their outgoing, friendly dispositions,
inviting us to join in and ask questions, created a relaxed and warm atmosphere.


Integral to African music is the drum, especially the djembe
which Lamine is playing here. There was even a story
to the shirt he was wearing (greatly coveted by me)


And every so often Seydou would jump up and break into a wonderfully joyous dance.
Here he is dancing up a storm - wearing another wonderful shirt!


The audience were also invited to join in, and Jonni, who needs very little encouragement
to get up and dance, just couldn't resist the opportunity, even if his shirt wasn't quite as stunning.


Soon nearly everyone was up and dancing, finding the music irresistible!


And finally Lamine showed off his superb dancing skills. Levitation took on a new meaning
as his spectacular jump almost made it to our very high ceiling.


I do believe that Lamine, Ousmane and Seydou enjoyed the whole evening almost as much
as we enjoyed having them. We hope our three friends will be back soon!

To find out more about Lamine Sonko go to his Myspace page at


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