Since the sudden disappearance of maestro Mamadou Aliou Barry, saxophonist musician, former director of Kaloum star de Conakry 1 and the constant African groove of the group, several questions have hung on the lips of music lovers, artists, musicians and authorities. These are those of knowing what place would gradually occupy the horn section, which tends to disappear in Guinean music.
It should be noted that in recent times the practice of wind instruments in orchestrations was rare or almost absent. Sure, there have been some musical formations that have resisted by recruiting brass band-level young trumpeters, saxophonists, trombonists and who have finally and perfectly sharpened their fingers, lips and beaks, to ensure a momentary succession. .
To this end, they are not numerous because the current generation to immediately reach the finish line, has opted for other practices, in particular guitar, drums, djembe, singing among others.
These different sections that make up an orchestra are apparently easier to approach in learning than the horn section. This could explain this propensity for these tools.
Not hated but feared for its learning time, it turns out to the current generation that with horn section practice rarely comes stardom. Having confirmed this, we believe that climbing to the top, without taking stairs or elevators, is generally the chosen route, the one most suitable for many artists of the new generation.
It is evident that the wind section has disappeared at the level of our orchestral formations which, in turn, have all decayed.
What are the practical steps to consider to finally bring these horn sections back to life?
This is the great question that arises and that challenges the news in the artistic and cultural world and this, starting from the call to God of the last Mohican, the master Mamadou Aliou Barry.
The archival assistant, flanked in life by master Mamadou Aliou Barry, had himself set out his point of view on this worrying question in these terms” I am sure and certain that the race or commodity is beginning to disappear and better late than never.”
Concerned for the next generation, the late maestro Barry had sounded the alarm, urging young people to follow in the footsteps of their elders to learn wind instruments.
“I appeal to the next generation, all these young musicians, to take the time to learn wind instruments because the race is in terrible decline in the sub-region and especially in our country. We have had celebrities, the list is long and that there are no more (sAas)”.
It is undeniable that these renowned horn sections of our national and federal bands were talented and admirable behind their instruments. Full or solo scores provided the melody and covered all other sections. Almost all of these pioneers, emblematic figures of the wind sections, especially of our national orchestras, have entered the realm of silence.
For a survey carried out and only at the level of the 4 national formations at the origin (Bembeya jazz, Balla and its baladins, Kèletigui and its tambourines, Horoya national band), by counting, there are only 3 wind instrumentalists who are alive out of almost twenty, whose melodious and voluptuous scores continue to shake us with the happiness of the glorious past of Guinean music.
It is important to know the essential role played by the wind section in orchestrations, therefore its place of choice and weight in an orchestral formation.
To demonstrate the often necessary role that the wind section plays in an orchestra, continues the late Maestro Barry “ You know that the presence of a horn section in an orchestra forces you to create structure in the arrangements. For there to be interventions in the pieces, there must necessarily be scores of the horn section at the beginning, in the middle and at the end. So this structure must be respected in the rules ».
What is certain is that the easy solution adopted by our young musicians forces them to play without thinking about creating a ”structure”. As proof, they introduce the piece, the solo intervenes and the closing is done. This is proof enough that wind instruments no longer have a place in this type of orchestration.
Several young artists, asked about the reasons for their reluctance to learn these wind instruments, got the answers” they are very complicated tools and difficult to learn »
For the late Maestro Barry, the answer to that question is “Definitely difficult to learn and which, according to them, has an impact on health. They’re all moving towards guitar, drums and vocals, options where training is faster. It is not possible to train a saxophonist or a trumpet player in a short time.
90% of the provisions to be made must be the responsibility of the cultural authorities. We need to put the means, we need to buy the tools, set up structures and conditions that allow the elderly who are still alive to leave their knowledge as a legacy through theoretical and practical training.
I was offered to go and give lessons at the current Mory Kanté Arts Institute in Dubréka. The material is lacking. For such a large number of students, it is not with 2 or 3 saxophones that we can provide practical lessons. We also have to think about each other’s health so as not to always use the same tools. We can share piano, guitar, drums. It’s not normal to use just one or two wind instruments for everyone.
Today we make music with keyboards and we want to try to replace all wind instrument scores with keyboard. Which is absurd. There is this breathing of the human being on the reed, on the wind instrument that the keyboard will never be able to imitate. The fretboard does this superficially and the notes are usually all stuck together and almost always sound the same.”
Listening today to the great classics, the hits of this glorious past of Guinean music, the works or scores of these different wind sections have caused a sensation.
Think about it and give strength or rebirth to this horn section within Guinean music, is an absolute must.