A certain number of questions have been sent by our readers with the aim to know a little bit more about « INSTITUT DE MUSICOLOGIE DE GITEGA ». Therefore, our editor approached Bishop, Dr. Justin Baransananikiye, the head of this Institution and got the following information:
EDITOR: Bishop, Dr. Justin, you are the founder and Chief Education Officer at “Institut de Musicologie de Gitega”, which is the only Burundian institution specialized in teaching Music and conducting ethnomusicology researches, and also in promoting Burundian musicians. How did you come to imagine such a great project?
JUSTIN: It was a national pressing need and being a former high school music teacher and an experienced musician in the Burundi National Band with a higher education in Music, I simply felt it was my responsibility to respond to the situation and be ready to serve the Burundian youth.
EDITOR: Just for our readers to know: how is your training program organized?
JUSTIN: First, we offer a short duration music training courses for either one month, or two months or three months designed for developing various skills for singers and musical instruments players, etc. Twenty-two young musicians/singers from Gitega town have attended such courses in 2014.
Second, we offer a one year Music Medium Studies program designed for high school graduates planning to become future music teachers in Burundian high schools. Yet, ten (10) first graduates completed this level in September this year.
Third, beginning this October 2015, we opened a “Bachelor of Music” level which is attended by graduates from our Music Medium level.
EDITOR: You recently told this website about four important projects you plan for in 2016 including:
– “The First Burundi Golden Piano Competition”
– “The Festival of Burundi traditional music and songs”
– “Producing a music album from the famous Burundian Drums mixed with traditional dances rhythms and modern music”
– “Workshops to promote Burundian young female Composers and singers”.
Would you, please, provide more details on these events?
JUSTIN: Let me first say this: as you know, Burundi has not had any music events organized since April this year due to social tension in the capital Bujumbura while most of our famous musicians and singers fled the country. Consequently, these music events are planned as opportunities to bring together our artists again to compete in a spirit of reconciliation and brotherhood and unity rebuilding.
“The First Burundi Golden Piano Competition” is particularly focused on playing the piano and competitors are required to have a good knowledge in writing and reading and playing the music.
EDITOR: It looks totally different from all other music competitions we have had in Burundi in the past.
JUSTIN: Yes, of course. Our main purpose is to arouse a new generation of Burundian musicians with the knowledge of music writing and reading and playing.
“The Festival of Burundi Traditional music and songs” is especially aimed at selecting fifty (50) best traditional music and songs works that will be remixed and developed with western music styles (as rock, funk, jazz, soul, pop, etc) and launched in the WORLD MUSIC market. 180 traditional musicians from the 18 provinces of Burundi will participate. This event will also give the Burundian modern musicians an opportunity to re-discover the various traditional Burundian music styles on which they should direct their researches.
EDITOR: Don’t you find this will be a long process before reaching any concrete results?
JUSTIN: Not at all. We do have Burundian skilled and experienced musicians working inside and outside of the country who will be invited to come and work with international African and western musicians and arrangers in order to produce the first sounding sample albums of our original music and songs stepping in the WORLD MUSIC concerts. Other Burundian musicians will then follow this research path.
EDITOR: Wow! Is this project different from the other of “Producing a music album from the famous Burundian Drums mixed with traditional dances rhythms and modern music?”
JUSTIN: Yes. It is a separate project that focuses particularly on the Burundian worldwide-known drummers as an original music and rhythm source and heritage we want the whole world to discover and know deeply. This project requires some in-depth ethnomusicology research made. My new book “The Burundian Traditional Vocal and Instrumental Music” will also help.
EDITOR: What was your first book’s title?
JUSTIN: “De l’Inanga à la Guitare Classique – une Histoire de la Naissance de la Musique Burundaise Moderne”, written in French.
EDITOR: You are also planning for Training Workshops to promote Burundian Female Composers and Singers. Why?
JUSTIN: The Project is named: “Workshops to promote Burundian young female Composers and singers”. For your information, results from our researches this year have noticed that Burundi has got presently only 6% of Female musicians/singer really active in the music sector. Therefore, through this project, our “Institut de Musicologie de Gitega” wants:
– To promote an important number of new Burundian young female musicians/singers to enter the music sector as we will work to develop their music skills.
– To select twenty (20) best young Burundian female musicians/singers who will be supported to attend one yea music training at “Institut de Musicologie de Gitega”
– To sponsor the producing of a music album for the best ten (10) young Burundian female musicians/singers.
EDITOR: Wonderful! So, Burundi can expect to have many more young female musicians/singers invading our concert halls’ stages!
EDITOR: Now, Dr. Justin, your Music Institution, the only one existing and operating in Burundi, has such great projects which will certainly lift up and develop the music sector in this country within one-two years. Donors and Partners are certainly needed to help. Have you already made any contacts in this regard.
JUSTIN: Yes, but on a wide scale. We are just starting. I am deeply thankful to this website as the information will now be circulated on the five continents. Any donors and Partner interested can contact us at:
INSTITUT DE MUSICOLOGIE DE GITEGA
Registered No. 226.01/CAB/1405/DGCA/2013
P.O. Box 197 Gitega, Burundi
Tel : +257 79 877 097 ou +257 77 758 123
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
There are still other projects that we can share.
EDITOR: Finally, are you sure you can manage to conduct all these projects while Burundi is mentioned in the news as going through security problems?
JUSTIN: Please, Mr. Editor, tell your readers that “Institut de musicologie de Gitega” has never stopped teaching and delivering certificates and diplomas since it was registered in December 2013.