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Place du Congo

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This composition has been around for awhile.
I have made additions of authentic African loops and
virtual midi instruments. It was started in GarageBand and
later remastered in Logic Studio.

In Louisiana's French and Spanish colonial era of the 18th century, African Americans were commonly allowed Sundays off from their work, and were allowed to gather in the "Place de Negres", "Place Publique", later "Circus Square" or informally "Place Congo" at the "back of town" New Orleans, (across Rampart Street from the French Quarter) where the slaves would set up a market, sing, dance, and play music.

The tradition continued after the city became part of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase. As African music had commonly been suppressed in the Protestant colonies and states, the weekly gatherings at Congo Square became a famous site for visitors from elsewhere in the U.S. Many visitors were amazed at the African style dancing and music.

Observers heard the beat of the bamboulas, the wail of the banzas and saw the multitude of African dances that had survived through the years.

Townsfolk would gather around the square on Sunday afternoons to witness what went on inside the square. In 1819, a visitor to the city, Benjamin Latrobe, wrote about the celebrations in his journal. Although he found them "savage", he was amazed at the sight of five or six hundred unsupervised slaves that had assembled for dancing. He described them as ornamented with a number of tails of the smaller wild beasts, with fringes, ribbons, little bells, and shells and balls, jingling and flirting about the performers' legs and arms. The women, one onlooker reported, wore, each according to her means, the newest fashions in silk, gauze, muslin, and percale dresses. The males covered themselves in oriental and Indian dress and covered themselves only with a sash of the same sort wrapped around the body. Except for that, they went naked.

One witness from the time pointed out that several clusters of onlookers, musicians, and dancers represented tribal groupings with each nation taking their place in different parts of the square. In addition to drums, gourds, banjo-like instruments, and quillpipes made from reeds strung together like pan flutes, marimbas and European instruments like the violin, tambourines, and triangles were also used.
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Song Stats
Hits: 3954
Comments: 10
Fans: 14
Plays: 111
Downloads: 137

Uploaded: Dec 07, 2008 - 07:28:21 PM
Last Updated: Oct 21, 2010 - 11:41:47 PM Last Played: Apr 30, 2019 - 06:46:07 AM
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M-Audio MIDI Keystation 49e
Logic Studio
Amadeus II
Moses said 3818 days ago (December 7th, 2008)
spacing. SO many sounds in this piece, love it! Groovin bass and the tune just has a great overall feel. Makes me just want to take it easy and enjoy life! Thanks.
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magnatone said 3818 days ago (December 7th, 2008)
Place Du Congo
Your work just amazes me. I don't have any idea how you do this, but it is fabulous! Congratulations on another excellent posting
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kristyjo said 3818 days ago (December 7th, 2008)
What a mix
Again, your information in the description is interesting and an important part of the 'Midi Orleans Experience'. I recognized a couple of the loops, which I've also used in my own (non-posted) compositions.
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Feter said 3818 days ago (December 7th, 2008)
Place du Congo v.III
just impressive how this work all gathered ..its an
epic ...its a true master piece telling the story ..
of such important and special events ..this is one of
the most important works you have done Sir ..thnx alot
she sharing !!!
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Bowman said 3818 days ago (December 8th, 2008)
Fantastic grove and surprising contemporary flair on this fascinating piece of history make this a winning work.
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thetiler said 3817 days ago (December 8th, 2008)
It is amazing
to me that you cover such a wide spectrum of music. This one is so incredibly rhythmic and from going to traditional classical to altra smooth drum percussion-synth- choir-tribal. Amazing !

What contrast from previous uploads and to do this at a high level really is ausome!

Way To Go M. O. !

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kassia said 3817 days ago (December 8th, 2008)
I love the song notes you always include with your songs. Wonderful history and I'm always learning so much while enjoying awesome music. I love the groove of this one - incredible percussion work. The sounds you get out of garageband and logic just boggle my mind. This composition is beautiful - love the organ and horns. Great work, as always - such a musical journey with you!
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richardhowardjones said 3817 days ago (December 9th, 2008)
Oh Yeah
Great stuff. C'est une piece formidable. J'adore l'atmosphere.
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guitapick said 3816 days ago (December 9th, 2008)
...this is soooooo freakin' good, Scotty...
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dirigent said 3749 days ago (February 15th, 2009)
Place du Congo
This has a tribal feeling, but is blended with the contemporary idea of musicmaking in an awesome way. Excellent concept, a most enjoyable piece of music. Great stuff, really great stuff. Bravo!!
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Artist Info
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Name: Scotty Hill
Location: New Orleans Louisiana USA
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My name is Scotty Hill and I use the name MidiOrleans for my computer music projects. I was born and grew up in New Orleans. Many genres of music can be found here. We have a very fine symphony and opera, as well as contemporary jazz, gospel, blues,... [see more]

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