GABON: The Ngombi harp

This video is neat “making-of” the recording of ENY‘s Bele Bela – showcasing the ngombi, a harp played in Gabon and other parts of Central Africa. It lets you set down some really complex polyrhythms, and it’s also called the “sacred harp” because it’s often used in Bwiti religious services.

Here’s a clip of renowed harpist Bokaye (who also builds ngombis) with a more classical performance – you can get a sense for just how complex the rhythms can get. It’s really soothing, almost hypnotic, and takes incredible skill to play at this level.

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