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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Gome Ensemble Seeks Higher Heights

The Gome Ensemble


The Gome Ensemble, which has been around for five years, has managed to position itself as a noticeably hard-workingoutfit on the traditional music and dance front in the country.

Founded by multi-instrumentalist, Fiawogbe BismarkNorkplim Kodzo, the ensemble’s highly intensive performances have excited audiences at venues in and out of Ghana.

Programmes where they have been warmly embraced include Felabration at the New African Shrine in Lagos, Nigeria, Marché des Arts du Spectacle d’Abidjan (MASA) in Coté d’Ivoire and the Chale Wote Street Arts Festival in Accra.

The ensemble began as a small group of musicians from diverse backgrounds.

They drew inspiration from different genres of music including jazz, highlife and folk music to create a unique blend of sound that has now become their trademark.

They have placed emphasis on instruments from across Ghana and thus incorporate items like the atentenben flute, balafon, gyil xylophone, prempesua, kologo and jonge string elements, rattles, bells and a wide combination of drums including the Osrama, Atumpan, Brekete, Kpanlogo and Gome.

Gome, the instrument from which the ensemble derives its name, is an ancient traditional instrument mostly played in the southern part of Ghana.

According to the group’s founder, the Gome drum’s ability to anchor the sound from different instruments and also feature as a lead voice for others to follow, typifies the ensemble’s approach of interweaving different rhythms while being a frontrunner on the traditional music and dance scene.

The group’s founder honed his musical skills as a member of the well-known Pan African Youth Orchestra (PAYO).

He learned the rudiments of music, stage presentation techniques, communication with audiences and other skills that are all now extremely useful in his handling of the Gome Ensemble.

Due to its forward-looking approach, the ensemble has organised workshops, youth outreach programmes and cultural exchange initiatives to spread its impact in Ghana and the sub-region.

The group has explored new instrumentation and incorporated multimedia elements into its performances.

As members of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), they have participated in events organised by the union and demonstrated willingness to support teamwork at all times.


By George Clifford Owusu

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