Brief Bionotes

Tanka Fonta was born in the highland region of Cameroon in west-central Africa where he pursued his formal educational studies. He has pursued a wide variety of interests in the arts, music, cultures of the world & education. He has also conducted extensive independent research into contemporary, art music, folk & traditional African music.

A prolific author & composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, researcher & scholar of traditional African music, Tanka Fonta has also been actively engaged in other professions; as a visual artist, exhibiting at galleries in Cameroon, Canada, USA, & Germany.


Fluent in diverse musical idioms, genres & styles, Tanka Fonta also writes from a poetical, literal & philosophical background, often integrating themes & motifs from different musical cultures of the world. A strong & converging point in his works & compositional palette are his eloquent use & employment of diversified subject matters, themes, motifs & variegated musical idioms.

With over a 100 published works for orchestra, small & mixed ensembles, quartets, trios & for solo instrumentation, some of his recently published works include; Incantations of a Bantu Mask, Visions & Ideograms, Themes & Variations of an African Dance in G Major, Elation of the Gods I,  Fulani Flute Dance, Drums & Faces of the Night, The Birth of Dawn & The Initiation Dances I.

He has featured in the documentary film, “ African Brush Strokes”. In addition he is a frequent performer in numerous festivals, concerts & has appeared in Vues D’Afrique, Coup de Coeur festivals in Montreal, du Maurier Jazz festival & many others.

& Others

Other professional concurrent activities include, lecture programs on African music, concerts, recitals, artist in residence projects, recordings & educational programs on African music in schools & colleges in Canada, USA & Germany.

Tanka Fonta plays: Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, a variety of traditional African hand percussion & string instruments.

90 %


90 %


90 %

Poetry & Prose

90 %


Aural + Visual Composition

Spontaneity, Improvisation, Receptivity: “Creativity”

Spontaneity, Improvisation, Receptivity: “Spontaneity & the Art of Improvisation – Music Composition

Intuition, Receptivity, Associative Spirals & Memory, Time & Spaces & Connectedness, Cognition, the Organic ground. Collective & Individual repositories; “Where all things meet & Converge”

Mythopoetic explorations, Idioms, Themes, Motifs, Subjects in Orality & History.

Motivic Background

Phenomenology & Etiology of Music in Central West Africa.  Philosophy, Aesthetics, Orality, Culture, Meaning, Languages & Historicity: “Music on the African Continent” – Seminar/Lecture/Performances & Discourse, with a thematic focus on the Music from Central West Africa.

The collective & the multi-dimensional mind; perception, apprehension, expression of reality, & the ineffable/numinous, in West Central African music.
The dream/unconscious worlds & the conscious world of matter & form, movements & oscillations of thought within time/space dimensions as motivic & idiomatic themes. Mythology, symbolism & inspiration in music making processes within the cultures of West Central Africa.
The visual & the aural; symbolic, theriomorphic & therianthropic sonic representations, zoomorphism, phytomorphism as motivic thematic idioms in the music making process within the cultures of West Central Africa.