Kathie Lee & Hoda: Christian Justilien Interview
In the Bahamas, they have the conch. Hoda said you eat the conch or use the shell for another purpose. Kathie Lee and Hoda get a crash course in how to play the conch and make it sing a little bit from Christian Justilien, who is a lecturer in musicology at the College of the Bahamas and founding member of the band Colours.
Christian Justilien: The Conch
Christian said the conch, like the drum, is a very bold instrument. They used it for communicating in the early days. You can sound the shell for different alarms, like getting out of bed or time to go to church or arrival of the bride. While playing the conch, the way you breath and blow into it can make different sounds, which can be used for different alarms.
The Conch: Different Sounds for Different Alarms?
Christian said it is the same conch shell sound. They can make it do different sounds. He uses original conch shells that have come right out of the water and Kathie Lee said they have been doing this for centuries.
Christian Justilien: Blowing a Conch
He shows the ladies how it works. Hoda said you blow the conch just like you do when you are playing a trumpet. One of the conch shells he put a mouthpiece in. He said he plays in the Junkanoo, which can go from 2:00 in the morning until like 10 or 11 the next day. The conch is actually a stone, so it is rough after a while on the lips. So, he modified a conch and put a mouthpiece on it and he is actually a trombone player, so it came naturally for him. The ladies give it a try and actually both do a very good job playing the conch. Maybe it is not as hard as we think.