Sing me a song!

Girl by the rice paddiesA French songGirl by the market with Amadou and Mariam's Homage to Ali Farka ToureGirl in Niafounke tries to remember the wordsGirl with mother singing Na Hawa DoumbiaHamadou Traore singing song from the Bi-annal, National Orchestra of TimbouctouKids with the Mali National Anthem (sort of French)Mamadou…

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Orchestre Dental, the music video

Orchestre Dental from Nouakchott is one of the most interesting bands I've had the chance to record and definitely the most unique. The music is distinctly modern, but incorporating a broad range of influences from the traditional scales of the Sahara (Moor, Peul, Soninke) to the imported sounds of their…

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Gnawa, across the desert

They said 'we behold you as one diligent in your pursuit of much journeying,On the earth. For a while you stay, and then you journey on your way.'I said, 'Were there no benefit to be gained in travelling,The sun would not change its stations in its heavenly mansions.'- Al-Tadili recording…

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Lere

In Lere, Mohamed Issa, from the group Tartit, arrives on the tail of a dust storm. He is here for one night, and then departing to play in a marriage "en brousse". Accompanied by myself and Abou, a young apprentice, we play out by the tent until the early hours.Mohammad…

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A million and one stars

The desert north of the river Niger is a scrubby dry place. Along the border with Mauritanian and Mali, there are a mixture of Maurs, Berbiche, and Tamashek (Tuareg). I meet a group of Kalashnikov carrying youths (military). The zone is in a state of continuous tension, as rebel raids…

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The end of the world…

I've come to Timbouctou to find a Tamashek guitarist named "Aba". He is from Gargando, and has left music and joined the military. I don't find him. However, I do meet with Mohamed Ag Abothy (or Mohamed "Bidega") who plays the bidega, a semispherical wood instrument with attached pieces of…

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