Who Pays The Accordionist Calls The Tune
For the uninitiated, the Salia Koroma vignettes are, with a few exceptions, mostly culled from longer songs and narratives. In their way they demonstrate that a recording is no different from a live performance. There’s always an audience, present or imagined (targeted); the artist is always performing, and they adjusts their “acts” accordingly. In this case the “audience” was the recording company, not necessarily the Joe Vamboi who was going to lay out his one- ‘n- six (or whatever the amount) for the record. The circumstance (sitting on a veranda or in a recording studio) will influence the content to varying degrees, as will the person (or entity) hosting the preformance.
They also show that technology places its own demands on the artist. For someone used to long night sessions with his patrons it must have been very demanding to be asked to edit a 30-minute song to 3 minutes or less. But the final products are just delightful, absolutely so. What’s not so delightful about them are the title. Let’s just say they leave a lot to be desired.
The first such vignette by Salliah and his Accordian (sic) that I’m posting (the second, really. Ko Sao was the first) is entitled Yaumu Sukui. What in the name of God is that? In any case we know what Decca was going for: Yohmie School/Class/Tutorial (if we take the word “sukui” to be from the English “school”). Compare this short version to the longer one I posted last February. The differences aren’t that great to be highlighted. Unless, of course, I’m in a nitpicking mood, which I’m not. The vocal play is amazing. And the timing! And the enunciation! The lyrical confidence!