Group photo of Carleton students, faculty and staff in Ghana in front of Dagbamate village sign

In May of 2023, twelve students from Carleton’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences embarked on a trip to Ghana, West Africa to study “Urban and Rural Music in Community.” Taught by Kathy Armstrong, Instructor in School for Studies in Art and Culture: Music, this experiential course was offered by the Institute of African Studies as part of their yearly study abroad opportunities. Students experienced drumming, dancing, singing and community life in Dagbamete, an Ewe village in the Volta Region of Ghana, as well as attending live music concerts, masterclasses, and lectures on urban styles of music at the University of Ghana, Legon. Throughout their time in Accra and Dagbamete, students took soundscape recordings to consider how sonic landscapes connect to deeper cultural, social, and economic themes. They reflected on how their own positionality affected and structured their experience of place by layering their own voices overtop of these clips. Browse the audio excerpts below to hear students interpretations of traffic in Accra, wildlife in Ho, or drum lessons in Dagbamete.

Talking Trotros: How Street Sounds of Accra Echo Conventions of Ghanaian Culture

James Shaheen, Bachelor of Music

On Campus: Sounds of Ghanaian Traditional Music in Accra and Ottawa

Rebecca Cowal, Master of Art in Music and Culture

A Rainfall of Thoughts

Siobhan Atkins, Bachelor of Global and International Studies

Lipstick Queens

Rebecca Cowal, MA in Music and Culture

Embracing Myself

Elisa Lee, Bachelor of Music

The Seamstress

Anastasia Wasylinko, Bachelor of Music

Gahu Across Time and Space

Rebecca Cowal, MA Music and Culture

Green Time Versus Screen Time; Is the Internet the Enemy of Outdoor Time?

Anita Kaneza, Bachelor of Global and International Studies

Invited To Dance

Citlali Cervantes Garcia, Bachelor of Music

Morning In Dagbamete – Akpe (Thank You)

Rebecca Cowal, MA Music and Culture

This audio blog was curated by Rebecca Cowal in partial fulfillment of the requirements for AFRI 5100.

Special thanks to John Rosefield and Paul Jasen for their audio and design support.