Rob Shipster

Rob is an accomplished musician and workshop leader, who will be joining us with two fascinating workshops to try out. You will know Rob, as he has supported Hans many times at previous Drum Camps.

1. Kudu Horns

The style is from central Africa: Uganda Cameroon Rwanda. Unlike the cachophonous royal ashanti horn players of Ghana, this horn playing is groovy and melodic. There are two identical sets on 6 curly Kudu horns in D pentatonic, from low to high in pitch.

The workshop can be roughly up to 20 people, but it can also have just 6 people. Some can play shakers, clap or have a rest from blowing. Initially it can be tricky to get the first note, but that will only take a few minutes to acieve success. It is quite easy to get the music going: 3 of the parts are easy, whilst 3 parts are more syncopated, but once the note can be blown, I'm sure all Drum Campers will have no problem getting the polyphonic groove going nicely.

2. Nyanga panpipes

The Nyanga pipes are from Mozambique. This is probably the most rare and incredible-sounding music Rob has ever encountered.

The Nyanga Pipes are originally from Nyungwe around Tete, but for 50 years the revolution has broken ensembles of 50 people to ensembles of just 10 or less. One or two ethnomusicologists teach it, but that's it. It's rarely played in Mozambique, if at all. But the music is truly amazing and made the hair stand up on the arms and neck when Rob first heard it.

The Ensemble is made up of 9 different parts up the octave, and down the octave.  You sing and blow the pipes at the same time. There is also a two-part choir. The Ensemble comes together in perfect polyphony creating a happy and uplifting cadence that goes round and round, with regular pauses for the MC. But it's not just the interesting sound of panpipes: Nyanga is an energetic dance with many possible dance steps. The MC calls the dance steps.

Rob’s dream is to have an Ensemble of 50 people playing this almost extinct music once again. This could well be possible. In the meantime the music works well in an Ensemble of 15. Both Nyanga and Kudu horns are very new to WMW Festival this year and we absolutely are looking forward to what comes out of these workshops over the weekend.

Year Contributions
2018 Music Workshops