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Conduct and document a semester of an exploratory program in Guinea made possible by the new 6-hole "chromatic tambin" flute
Conduct and document a semester of an exploratory program in Guinea made possible by the new 6-hole "chromatic tambin" flute
Conduct and document a semester of an exploratory program in Guinea made possible by the new 6-hole "chromatic tambin" flute
257 backers pledged $25,082 to help bring this project to life.

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Music Literacy Program for Guinea

$25,082

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Percussion and flute
Percussion and flute

The objective of this project is to develop and test a METHOD to bring MODERN MUSIC LITERACY to Guinean children by using the chromatic tambin,* a new, patented invention that is a modification of the tambin, the traditional flute from Guinea.   

The chromatic tambin can be made on site from simple and widely available plastic tubing, it is functional, sturdy and inexpensive and offers an original and progressive approach into the complexities of the twelve-tone musical system, a body of knowledge to which Guinean people currently have little or no access. 

As the Project movie relates, earlier this year, the tambin, along with notions of musical notation, were successfully introduced to a group of Guinean children. 

This project focuses on the next step which consists of an extended, four-month stay, working with students on a daily basis, drilling them in solfeggio, theory and flute practice to achieve demonstrable results, such as playing recognizable polyphonic pieces as well as composing and performing works of their own, integrating their new knowledge with traditional music.

By donating to this project, you are:  

1) Supporting the development of a potentially revolutionary teaching method
2) Helping the advancement of the chromatic tambin
3) Giving Guinean kids access to otherwise unattainable knowledge
4) Encouraging me, Sylvain Leroux, in my artistic and entrepreneurial pursuits  

The whole experience will be documented aurally and visually and upon my return, a documentary film will be produced from that footage. Mulatta Records has generously committed to release a CD of student performances. The children will also be involved with decorating flutes in African cloth and various materials, some of these instruments will be made available to supporters, as well as professional quality tambins and chromatic tambins... and our gratitude. 

Thank you very much for your consideration, I hope this project will inspire you and that you will be moved you offer your support. 

Best wishes,
Sylvain Leroux

Goodbyes
Goodbyes

*APPENDIX: What is the chromatic tambin? 
Here is a description written by journalist Howard Mandel: "By adding three new, carefully placed finger holes to the traditional tambin (aka Fula flute), Leroux has rendered a unique and age-old instrument capable of virtuosic playing. Its voice can now be applied to every musical style from jazz to classical composition. Until now the tambin has been limited to basic modal scales, although its exquisitely simple construction has promoted the development of highly complex performance fundamentals. Leroux's Chromatic Tambin retains all the powerful vocal/flute effects of its parent instrument, but with new chromatic possibilities."   

The Chromatic Tambin
The Chromatic Tambin

Risks and challenges

Getting the Guinean students interested in, and motivated to play classical music will present a challenge as they’ve had minimal exposure to it. To facilitate this we will start with reading local well known traditional and popular melodies and progressing step-by-step into the classical repertoire, all the while exposing them to certain pieces through listening sessions and demonstrations.

Guinea is a tough physical environment, especially for westerners who are used to comfort and modern amenities. But I am well prepared, as I have previously traveled a half-dozen times to Guinea. I have a network of friends, acquaintances, and plenty of support there. I am familiar with the customs, and ways of Guineans and know my way around. Also, I can be considered somewhat of an insider: the music from my CD "Fula Flute" has been a staple of Guinean radio and television for nearly a decade. I have been interviewed several times on Guinean airwaves, radio and television.

I am well prepared for the academic challenges: From the very beginning of my musical life, a friend insisted that I teach him the flute. Since then, I have consistently taught flute. I also have taught music to amateur musicians, to teenagers, conducted assembly programs for children of all ages, taught guitar, flute, saxophone, clarinet, percussion and coached bands and I have conducted master classes in many colleges and universities. I have dealt with all sorts of pedagogical situations and I believe that the difficulties presented by this project are well within my capacities to handle if I am given the chance.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $17 or more About $17

    One music CD (Fula Flute, Source or Quatuor Creole)

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    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    One copy of the "Student Works" CD to be released on Mulatta Records, plus one music CD

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    49 backers
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    Pledge $61 or more About $61

    One copy of the Documentary DVD, plus one Mulatta "Student Works" CD, and one music CD

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    29 backers
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    Pledge $111 or more About $111

    Student model chromatic tambin (made in Guinea) with PDF manual, plus one Documentary DVD, one Mulatta "Student Works" CD, and one music CD

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $307 or more About $307

    Actual student decorated chromatic tambin with PDF manual, plus one Documentary DVD, one Mulatta "Student Works" CD, and one music CD

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $503 or more About $503

    Your choice of professional quality chromatic (with PDF manual) or traditional tambin, plus one Documentary DVD, one Mulatta "Student Works" CD, and one music CD

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    3 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,009 or more About $1,009

    The students will record personalized video thanks for you and you will be recognized as "Benefactor" in the credits on the Mulatta CD and the Documentary DVD.
    Plus: your choice of one professional quality, decorated chromatic (with PDF manual) or traditional tambin, and two copies of the Documentary DVD, three copies of the Mulatta "Student Works" CD, and one music CD

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,011 or more About $5,011

    The students will compose and perform a piece in your honor that will be recorded and published on the Mulatta Records "Student Works" CD, the recording of which will be also chronicled on the Documentary DVD. Plus: recognition as "Benefactor" in the credits of the Mulatta CD and the Documentary DVD, and your choice of one professional quality, decorated chromatic or traditional tambin, and three copies of the Documentary DVD, and five copies of the Mulatta "Student Works" CD, and one music CD

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Funding period

- (31 days)