In the summer of 1998 I had an opportunity to travel to Guinea, West Africa. I lived with a missionary family for the better part of three months in the remote city of Mamou. While I was there I had a number of responsibilities which included teaching computer classes to people form that village, leading a discipleship group, conducting a Bible study and whatever other projects came up that I could handle.
During my time there I made friends with one of my computer students. His name was Daniel. Daniel was a music director for a church in Mamou and wanted to create a recording of some of the songs he had taught his choir. He asked me to help him.
Daniel had an old Casio keyboard that was in very rough condition but it was useful for providing tempo. He could also play the melodies on the keyboard, though it ran on batteries that didn’t provide an adequate charge and had difficulty playing in tune. We contracted two local musicians to play bass and lead guitar and the vocals were all done on a single microphone by Daniel’s choir. We ran all of this through a four channel mixer amp that was powered by a generator and out to a cassette deck to capture the recording. My job was to get the audio mix sounding as good as possible and to engineer the recording.
Daniel and I lost touch over the years due to me moving around quite a bit after college. He recently found me on Facebook and we have been able to reconnect. He is currently in the U.S. for a ministry conference and I am taking my family to New York City this weekend to visit him while he is there. I thought it would be a nice gift to convert the old cassette recording to a digital format and give it to him on CD as a gift.
You can listen to the songs below. They are in French, English and Pular – a tribal dialect in that region of Guinea. The CD is titled “Reveillez-Vous Jesus Revient!” or “Wake Up, Jesus is Coming!” My favorite track is I’m Leaving Home. It’s an acapella number in which Daniel sings lead in his broken English. I distinctly remember the words of that song stirring my heart as I recorded it some 3,000 miles from home that day. To my ears the sound of my friend’s voice singing those words is better than anything you’ll hear on The Sing Off tonight.
Other favorites of mine are N Yarama Anabi Issa, Boe Yesu Gha Zima Ve and Hala Cou Naa O because they are in the language of the people there that I grew to love so much.
I hope you enjoy these songs.
01 – Reveillez-Vous
02 – O Toi La Femme
03 – N Yarama Anabi Issa
04 – I’m Leaving Home
05 – Hala Cou Naa O
06 – Il N’est Pas Bon
07 – Boe Yesu Gha Zima Ve
08 – Hala Cou Naa O
09 – Chantez a L’Eternel
10 – Ti Ya I Yiyan Pe