MUSIC ACCORDING TO PERCUSSION (MAP)
is a music ensemble from Zimbabwe which sets Percussion as the sole driver of its Music
The root of MAP's rhythms is the Ngoma drum (the oldest type of African drum), and rhythms which evoke ‘a certain mood in an individual, strong feelings from the heart’ - used for centuries in Southern and Central Africa to send messages; to summon people for rain-making other ancient rituals, for celebrations and other festivities. These Ngoma rhythms are accompanied by powerful clapping and Hosho shaking. The Melody is adopted from the Mbira, Ngororombe, Marimba, Chipendane, Ugqangala, and an array of Zimbabwean traditional melodic instruments
After dominating traditional music for centuries, in more recent years the Ngoma has been used only as an accompanying instrument in modern music setups, some Mbiras has nearly reached extinction, and most Zimbabwean traditional instruments have been termed demonic and locals shy away from playing them. Now, MAP restores the Zimbabwean traditional musical instruments to the forefront of the ensemble as the lead instruments, in their traditional role, producing a unique feel as the balance of the music shifts, imperceptibly.
Overlaying these pulses, MAP branches out to embrace other percussion instruments and styles from around Zimbabwe and her neighbours, playing instruments including Marimba, Mbira, Xigubhu, Gandira/Ndandanda (Zimbabwe), and custom-made tunable Ngoma and timbales. They shift from technical artistry to a more trance-like style that requires certain levels of concentration and ‘takes one to places they have never been before’. Along with traditional southern African styles are flavours of reggae and salsa, funk and Asian styles.
The vocals incorporate Ndebele-style harmonies of southern Africa, Shona yodeling, Shangana and Griot styles, a colourful array of folklore and contemporary styles. They sing of thankfulness, creativity, encouragement, change. In true African oral tradition they sing of warnings and advice, the ills of poverty and a rebuke to xenophobia.
Othnell Mangoma Moyo (Zimbabwe master hand drummer) leads MAP, playing a number of percussion instruments, together with 4 women drummer/vocalists, accompanied by bass, lead guitar and keyboards.
The first two MAP Cds were released in 2016. The group perform widely in Zimbabwe, from humble community spaces to the highest stages and venues of the country.