The melodious tunes of the traditional Waza music,along the Nile region in Sudan has withstood the test of time, even in the face of challenges. Its ambiance fills the air every last day of sorghum harvest season.
The Waza Musicians use shanks of shallow pumpkin plant to make the prestigious rare instruments. Ginais village in the blue Nile experience an absolute tune when the Waza band plays their music.
Before any show, the Waza trumpets are removed from a special storage. They are washed in order to make them wet for a very special reason.
This is our heritage and we will not abandon it. I have a band of young players who come to train three times a week. When our term comes to an end they will replace us in playing
“We wet it with water to tune the instrument. If we do not wet it, it will not play. We also wet its body to make enhance the voice because when it is dry it will not work,” explained Hussein Abbas, a Waza Musician.
Without the horns, the instruments are incomplete. The horn are sorted according to their sizes to bring out the best tune. They then rehearse and tune their instruments ahead of their performance.
“This horn should be shallow and strong as we hit the wood for rhythm. The members of the band use their legs to control the rhythm. They serve the same purpose as drums for us,” said Mohammed Hamad Al-Nil, the Waza Band Leader.
After a very tedious training, the band presents itself to the village. They play more than ten instruments at the same time. Their experience always push them ahead. They never let down their audience. They try to be cautious not to fall into minor mistakes when playing the instruments.
“When we move it like that, it means you are trying to draw the attention of one of the band’s member to say that he is making a mistake or as a sign to the end of the piece of music,” added Al-Nil.
The Waza tune has been recognized as the community traditional tune in the region. Many communities around Sudan identify themselves with this rare rhythm.
“This is our heritage and we will not abandon it. I have a band of young players who come to train three times a week. When our term comes to an end they will replace us in playing,” said Dafallah, a researcher studying Sudanese Art and Culture.
Having experienced war between the government and various rebels since 2011, the region has never let their tradition to be swept away despite political differences. The Waza music has provided an understandable peace among various communities in this region.