Saturday, June 25, 2016

WEEKEND EDITION: Africa Express Presents Terry Riley's in C Mali

Just downloaded the music from iTunes. This is the video to accompany "in C," the latest album from Africa Express -- the first African version of Riley’s minimalist classic - recorded in Bamako, Mali in October 2013. Gary Hill turned me on to this seminal piece by Terry Riley more than 40 years ago. Then we drove down to NYC from Woodstock to hear Terry play live in a new music loft. After that I'd been turned loose in a whole new playground populated by La Monte Young, Steve Reich, Pauline Oliveros, Philip Glass, Brian Eno. Now to hear "in C" played on the kora, kalimba and balafon is an amazing treat!

From Amazon: "On November 4, 2014, exactly 50 years to the day from the world premiere of "in C," the composer said: 'I am overwhelmed and delighted by this CD. I was not quite prepared for such an incredible journey, hearing the soul of Africa in joyous flight over those 53 patterns of "in C." This ensemble feeds the piece with ancient threads of musical wisdom and humanity indicating to me that this work is a vessel ready to receive and be shaped by the spontaneous feelings and colors of the magician/musician. I could not ask for a greater gift for this daughter's 50th birthday.'"

It was 51 years ago . . . when Terry Riley's iconic minimalist composition "in C" received its world premiere. To mark the anniversary, Africa Express -- the organization that brings together musicians from multiple cultures, continents, and genres -- released an album featuring their 41-minute version of the piece. In addition to several artists from Bamako, Mali, the album features contributions from Africa Express mainstays Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Nick Zinner. The full list of contributors: Adama Koita: Kamel N'goni; Alou Coulibaly: Calabash; Andi Toma: Additional Percussion, Kalimba; André de Ridder: Violin, Baritone-guitar, Kalimba; Badou Mbaye: Djembe, Percussion; Brian Eno, Bijou; Olugbenga: Vocals; Cheick Diallo: Flutes; Damon Albarn: Melodica; Defily Sako, Modibo Diawara: Kora; Guindo Sala: Imzad; Kalifa Koné, Mémé Koné: Balafon; Nick Zinner, Jeff Wootton: Guitar.

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