(Super) Kwame Kwamrivi Agbodeka
Name: Kwame (Super) Kwamrivi Agbodeka
Place of Residence: Dagbamete
Occupation: Farmer (Maize, Casaba, Beans)
COURTNEY: Has music always been in the village? Have you always had music?
SUPER: Music, yes. It’s not always, but if you have occasions, you have music. Like today, you may find some music at the town today, for the community.
COURTNEY: Why do you think music is important?
[Some Confusions, asked to repeat question]
COURTNEY: Is music important to you?
SUPER: Yes, it’s important.
SUPER: For our occasions.
COURTNEY: For occasions?
COURTNEY: How so?
SUPER: If someone died, you are making funeral. [Some indecipherable words here] And, if you are making festival. And when we are going for our traditional prayers, you make to bring music.
COURTNEY: So is it usually traditional music?
SUPER: Yes, they have the traditional music.
COURTNEY: Are there other kinds of music?
SUPER: There’s different kinds.
COURTNEY: What kinds of music?
SUPER: You have Apotapu [spelling?] Shine, the Ewe Shrine, Talazu [spelling?] Shrine, and others. All those gods you have their music. Yes.
COURTNEY: Where did the music come from? How did you learn it?
SUPER: The music. There’s the drummers. You have anikokum [spelling?], they are drummers. If you call them, they come and drum that music for you.
COURTNEY: So you just have to call the drummers to come and play?
COURTNEY: Can anyone be a drummer?
SUPER: No. Some of them, they be the drummers. It’s not everybody, is not a drummer.
COURTNEY: Not everybody.
COURTNEY: If you wanted to learn how to drum…
SUPER: People [who be making that music?] natural. Yes, natural drummers. Nobody not teach them, but when they born them…
COURTNEY: They are just born?
SUPER: Yes, they just took the music from their generation. Yes.
COURTNEY: So, are you a drummer?
SUPER: No, me, I can’t drum. How do you put it? I’m not a professional drummer.
COURTNEY: Do you do it for fun?
SUPER: Yes, I can dance.
COURTNEY: You can dance.
SUPER: Yes, I’m a professional dancer.
COURTNEY: All sorts of dances?
SUPER: Yes [Indecipherable words here].
COURTNEY: Did you learn it from your parents?
SUPER: My parents?
COURTNEY: Who taught you to dance?
SUPER: Uh, okay. That is like a natural gift.
COURTNEY: Natural gift.
SUPER: Yeah, gift. Natural gift.
COURTNEY: You can just do it?
SUPER: Yes. If you are [Indecipherable] I can dance from it.
COURTNEY: Did you teach your children how to dance?
SUPER: Okay, before I been dancing, my children see it. Then they copy it.
COURTNEY: They copy it. Does your wife dance too? Does Comfort dance?
COURTNEY: With the music in the village, have you noticed that it’s changed?
COURTNEY: The music. Has it changed?
SUPER: Yeah, they change the music. Different kinds.
COURTNEY: Has it become different from 20 years ago to now? Is it different, or is it the same music?
SUPER: It’s different.
COURTNEY: How is it different?
SUPER: Yes. Some of the music are quick, and some tunes is slow. Their dancing is slow. And some, they have the quick jiggy [clapping with hands]. And some tunes the have the…
SUPER: slow motions. Slow motion.
COURTNEY: Do you notice different music coming in now, with the like, with Samuel, who has his phone and different music playing on that…
COURTNEY: Is there lots more of that now?
SUPER: Yes, yes.
COURTNEY: What is your feeling towards that music?
SUPER: My feeling, okay, that music is a natural gift. It means, so if he’s playing, you can use to dance with it.
COURTNEY: So even though it’s not traditional…
SUPER: Okay, it’s not traditional, yeah. It’s a gift.
COURTNEY: It’s just a gift. Oh, interesting.
SUPER: What is your mind to ask me those questions?
COURTNEY: What is in my mind?
COURTNEY: I just, we’ve done so much with music here, I just wanted to know more about how you came to learn the music and your feelings towards the music.
SUPER: Okay, yes. When it is today, when it is 3:00, there’s a music at the roadside. There’s going to remember one of our brothers who has been died on the [indecipherable word – motorway or mortuary?]. We no get it now. So we will remember him. We will play music.
COURTNEY: So you’re going on the main road?
SUPER: Yeah. So you will come here and witness it.
COURTNEY: Is that important to do? When someone has died, is it important to play music?
SUPER: Ah yes, if somebody died, we got the society. If he is a member in this community, we use music to grieve for him.
COURTNEY: Why do you do that?
SUPER: To have the family to thank them. Yes. To cry with them. Sorry them. Say so sorry. So we use to make music. Okay, have their dancing to make a feeling for them.
COURTNEY: Are there instruments? Do you use instruments for that? Or, is it voice? Or is it playing? Or both?
SUPER: Oh, both.
[Conversation about attending the music event at the roadside]
COURTNEY: Will lots of people from the village go?
SUPER: Yes, everybody in the village and community.
COURTNEY: Everybody in the village. And the community?
SUPER: Come to gather there.
COURTNEY: Kwasi was saying there’s going to be a funeral. Is it, is this..
SUPER: That is their funeral. That’s the one Kwasi told you.
COURTNEY: So how, what happens in a funeral? How is music used in a funeral?
SUPER: That music is a slow motion one.
COURTNEY: Slow motion?
COURTNEY: And anyone can play there?
SUPER: Anyone can dance. Anyone can play. If you came there, you can play axatse.
COURTNEY: We’ve been to two funerals, when we got here. We’ve been to two, but I don’t know if there’s all the same.
SUPER: No, one is man and one is woman.
Interviewed by Courtney Flett, Summer 2010
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