Our first taste of Ugandan culture and music was found in the community of Nakibembe. A small village located 52km outside of Jinja. Unlike the built up areas of Kampala, most of the locals live in thatched huts with mud and wattle walls. Allowing us to see not only the variety of buildings but also their way of life within the village. With such a small community, they are brought together through their love of traditional music and dance. Particularly through the handmade xylophone instrument called the Embaire, which was built for us on the day. We were able to watch the construction of the Embaire, which was just as interesting as hearing the sounds that came from it. As a welcome to the village, the locals started with several of their traditional village songs. Lasting a couple of hours, we got to hear a range of songs and were able to record them especially for the people of Nakibembe.
Towards the afternoon, we started to set up all the equipment and began to sample the Embaire, key by key. This was intriguing to the community, many of them stayed to watch the process. Due to weather conditions we were unable to collect all of the keys, as it began to interfere with the recordings. Although the day was music orientated we also spent time getting to know the villagers and their families. It was a day packed full of experiences that we would all remember, from the traditional dance and music to the community and their spirit in all they do. Not forgetting the cheekiness of the children, who thoroughly enjoyed our company for the day.
Blog post and Photography - Laura Holton