“Jambo Mambo” is the collective title for seven African musical pieces composed and specially arranged for choir/choir and accompaniment by Jan Magne Førde. Five of the melodies originate from east Africa/Tanzania and two are original works by the composer. The pieces may be presented together as an African section of a concert programme or performed separately. The title “Jambo Mambo” comes from Swahili and means simply Hi!
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY
None of the pieces is technically difficult to perform, either for choir or band. It is important to have experienced drummers (especially drum set) and accompanists to give the best possible quality to the rhythmic side, which is basic to this music. All the pieces lend themselves to improvisation and solos, so it is therefore fully possible to either invite soloists or let your own musicians have a go at the improvised parts.
The first rehearsals for “Jambo Mambo” may be done separately by band, choir and accompaniment. When each group can master its own part of the arrangement, it is time to put the music together in joint rehearsals.
WITHOUT THE SCORE
The arrangements are easy to learn by heart. They are written in four and eight bar blocks, which are repeated with small variations. It is therefore a satisfying challenge to perform the arrangements on stage without sheet music. This will liberate your energies for listening, interaction and communication.
The text is simple in form, comprising small stories and impressions of Africa. Most of the texts are in Swahili dialect. In the vocal notes, the phonetic pronunciation is more important than the correct written form. In “Ejala” and “Kongolela” Førde has made use of a kind of invented language he has developed himself from phonetic Swahili roots. Most of the songs include an aide-mémoire for the text that will help the singers to learn it by heart.
A simple demonstration CD has been made to give an impression of the tunes. The CD versions are played without extended repetitions and thus go quickly through the arrangements. Soloists will be able to rehearse their parts to accompaniment from the CD. The demo can be of great help at the rehearsal stage and should be made full use of.
Single pieces NOK 600
Complete set NOK 4200