Talking Drums

Some Day Catch Some Day Down

Innova 803

 

1. Ɔdɔ Bra 5:59

Composition and arrangement © 1987 Abraham Adzenyah, David Bindman, and Wes Brown

 

2. Tu Tu Gbɔvi 6:26

Traditional song; arrangement © 1987 Wes Brown and Freeman Kwadzo Donkor

 

3. Ɛnfa Me Ho 3:31

Composition and arrangement © 1987 Peter Chipello; lyrics © 1987 Martin Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng

 

4. Yɛ’pemso 10:15

Composition and arrangement © 1987 Abraham Adzenyah, David Bindman, Wes Brown, Peter Chipello, Freeman Kwadzo Donkor, royal hartigan, Robert C. Lancefield, and Martin Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng

 

5. Drummers Talk 5:01

Composition and arrangement © 1987 Robert C. Lancefield

 

6. Yɛ’Ara Yeni 5:13

Composition and arrangement © 1987 Abraham Adzenyah and David Bindman

 

7. Mele Alųɔ Dɔm 3:01

Traditional song; arrangement © 1987 Freeman Kwadzo Donkor

 

8. Some Day Catch Some Day Down 11:01

Composition and arrangement © 1987 Robert C. Lancefield

 

Total time 50:28

 

First released 1987 as Talking Drums TDLP 1001.

This remastered, complete reissue is an Enhanced CD

with all eight original tracks above, plus nine MP3 bonus tracks.

 

TALKING DRUMS in 1987:

 

Abraham Kobena Adzenyah: Congas, oprenten, gankogui, handclaps,

sikyi lead vocals, harmony vocals, vocal chorus

David Bindman: Tenor saxophone, flute, handclaps

Wes Brown: Bass, handclaps

Peter Chipello: Keyboards, handclaps

Freeman Kwadzo Donkor: Axtase, frikyiwa, dawuro, Gayiboe lead vocals, spoken Ewe

royal hartigan: Gretsch drum set with Paiste cymbals, handclaps

Robert Lancefield: Guitar, donno, fryikiwa, cowbell, claves, afuche, caxixi, vibraslap,

handclaps, harmony vocals, vocal chorus

Martin Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng: Timbales and bells, donno, congas, apentemma,

gankogui, frikyiwa, axatse, claves, handclaps, lead vocals, vocal chorus

 

With guest artists:

Agnes Adjetey: Harmony vocals, vocal chorus

Leticia Ahima: Harmony vocals, vocal chorus

Rick Alfonso: Trumpet, fluegelhorn

Ophelia Tetteh: Harmony vocals, vocal chorus

 

Some Day Catch Some Day Down was originally released in 1987 as Talking Drums TDLP 1001. Produced by Robert Lancefield. Engineered by Jonathan Freed and Robert Lancefield. Recorded and mixed at The Nineteen Recording Studio, South Glastonbury, Connecticut, 1987. Original LP jacket (beneath CD tray): design by Pamela Smith; photograph by David Viens of Ghanaian adinkra cloth.

 

Digital reissue in 2011 produced by Robert Lancefield. Analog tape restoration and 96-kHz/24-bit digital transfer by Sonicraft A2DX Lab. Transfer engineer: Kevin Przybylowski. Digital remastering by Allan Tucker, TuckerSound at Foothill Digital. Graphic design by Philip Blackburn. Special thanks to Tom Fine, Steve Puntolillo, and Greg Shatan for their expertise.

 

This reissue is dedicated to the memory of Freeman Kwadzo Donkor.

 

Innova Director: Philip Blackburn. Operations Manager: Chris Campbell.

Innova is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation.

 

 

1. Ɔdɔ Bra (5:59)

 

Composed by Abraham Adzenyah, David Bindman, and Wes Brown; arranged by Talking Drums

 

My “love, come” back, wishes the subject of this Twi-language song, a person whose lover has been away for some time. Feeling down and worried, and longing for the comfort of companionship, she or he wishes for the lover’s return.

 

2. Tu Tu Gbɔvi (6:26)

 

Traditional Ewe song;

arranged by Freeman Kwadzo Donkor, Wes Brown, and Talking Drums

 

Talking Drums’ arrangement of this Ewe lullaby includes traditional and modern instruments. It has a central section featuring sikyi, a recreational dance music of the Akan people. Here, the traditional drum ensemble is heard with the addition of modern drum set. Sikyi is performed in a social context conducive to the creation of new friendships and the renewal of old ones. This is reflected in the songs: mo mmra, which calls for everyone to “come and join us to play the sikyi music”; kwa de de, which teases a sore loser; and ɔkɔ baabi a ɔbɛba, about a true friend who has gone away, but can be relied upon to abide by her or his word and to return in times of trouble.

 

3. Ɛnfa Me Ho (3:31)

 

Composed and arranged by Peter Chipello;

lyrics by Martin Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng

 

Translatable literally as “I don’t care,” the Twi lyrics to this piece could answer those who criticize someone for playing music: “Hey, we’re making our music, and you don’t approve of it—who cares? This is me, this is what I feel like doing.”

 

4. Yɛ’pemso (10:15)

 

Composed and arranged by Talking Drums

 

The Akan expression yɛ’pemso can be translated as “we are all struggling,” struggling to get somewhere in life. This piece incorporates traditional rhythms from Akan kete adaban court music and from Ewe ega drumming. The slower ega interlude features Gayiboe, a traditional Ewe song of social criticism. Abraham Adzenyah comments on yɛ’pemso: “You go through a lot of changes in life, before you are able to succeed. You can’t sit at home and wait for opportunity to knock at your door—you have to struggle for it. That is yɛ’pemso.

 

5. Drummers Talk (5:01)

 

Composed and arranged by Robert C. Lancefield

 

Musical conversations among the instruments of the ensemble highlight this piece.

 

6. Yɛ’Ara Yeni (5:13)

 

Composed and arranged by Abraham Adzenyah and David Bindman

 

“Here we are” translates literally the Twi lyric yɛ’ara yeni. With this song, the members of Talking Drums show their appreciation to everyone who enjoys their music.

 

7. Mele Alųɔ Dɔm (3:01)

 

Traditional Ewe song;

arranged by Freeman Kwadzo Donkor and Talking Drums

 

Mele alųɔ dɔm is a story about lovers, one of whom oversleeps one morning. Upon awakening, he says: “Oh, you made me sleep throughout the night unto death.” This arrangement features rhythms from traditional Ewe bɔbɔɔbɔ music.

 

8. Some Day Catch Some Day Down (11:01)

 

Composed and arranged by Robert C. Lancefield

 

Gbaregbe le Gbaregbe ńoanyi, an Ewe proverb often translated as “some day catch some day down,” expresses a sense of collective remembrance, of the acute recollection of shared feelings and experiences of times past, and of the strangely interwoven intense joy and intense sadness that can accompany such memories. In the words of Freeman Kwadzo Donkor, it refers to “trying to remind ourselves about what we did that particular day, years years back…if we were to do it again, what would happen? It would be something—a beautiful one.” Dedicated to the memory of Tim Alcock.

The letter “ɔ” sounds like the vowel in “bought”; “ɛ,” like the vowel in “bet”; “ń,” like “f” pronounced with two lips, not teeth.

 

 

Bonus tracks on Enhanced CD

These tracks are a complete reissue of the cassette titled Talking Drums, recorded and released two years before

Some Day Catch Some Day Down. If you insert the physical CD into a computer, you should see two volumes on its desktop: the Audio CD and one named TALKING_DRUMS_MP3_BONUS_SET containing these bonus MP3 files.

 

MP3:1. Nnamfo Papa (5:47)

Composed and arranged by Robert C. Lancefield

 

MP3:2. Tie Me Sufrɛ (8:42)

Composed by David Bindman; lyrics by Maxwell Amoh;

arranged, with traditional Adowa music, by Talking Drums

 

MP3:3. Mwanamugi (2:19)

Traditional; arranged by J. H. Nketia

 

MP3:4. Self-Determination (5:00)

Composed and arranged by Robert C. Lancefield

 

MP3:5. Kpanlogo (5:30)

Traditional; arranged by Abraham Adzenyah

 

MP3:6. Drummers Talk (first version) (4:50)

Composed and arranged by Robert C. Lancefield

 

MP3:7. Gadzo (4:23)

Traditional; arranged by Freeman Kwadzo Donkor

 

MP3:8. Devitukui (2:59)

Traditional; arranged by Kwasi Aduonum

 

MP3:9. Ade Asa (6:17)

Composed by Maxwell Amoh and Freeman Kwadzo Donkor;

arranged by Talking Drums

 

Talking Drums in 1985

(ensemble on bonus tracks)

 

Abraham Adzenyah: atumpan, oprenten,

congas, kidi, tamalin, petia, gankogui, vocals

 

George Alford: trumpet

 

Maxwell Amoh: atɛntɛbɛn (bamboo flute),

frikyiwa, gankogui, axatse, ntrowa, lead vocals

 

David Bindman: tenor saxophone, gankogui, vocal chorus

 

Wes Brown: bass, atɛntɛbɛn, donno,

vocal chorus

 

Peter Chipello: keyboards, apentemma, kidi, vocal chorus

 

Freeman Kwadzo Donkor: oprenten, apentemma, petia, sogo, axatse, kabasa, gankogui, vocals

 

royal hartigan: Gretsch drum set with Paiste cymbals, dawuro, kaganu, vocal chorus

 

Robert Lancefield: guitar, atɛntɛbɛn, donno, sogo, vocal chorus

 

Ben Manley: timbales, cowbells, gankogui, dawuro, ganugbagba, vocal chorus

 

This 1985 project produced by Timothy Alcock and Robert Lancefield. Engineered by Jonathan Freed. Mixed by Timothy Alcock, Jonathan Freed, and Robert Lancefield. Recorded and mixed at The Nineteen Recording Studio, South Glastonbury, Connecticut, 1985. Originally released in 1985 as Talking Drums cassette TDCS 1000. Digital reissue produced by Robert Lancefield. Analog tape restoration and 96-kHz/24-bit digital transfer by Sonicraft A2DX Lab. Transfer engineer: Kevin Przybylowski. Digital remastering by Allan Tucker, TuckerSound at Foothill Digital.