You don’t pair the greatest young harpist in Wales with one of the most innovative kora players from West Africa for the purposes of relaxation. Their music is too deep, full-blooded and fragile for that.
Ibrahim battles through the show, smiling only once. His grave immobile presence is like a challenge to the hip bubbling New York crowd. To do what? To imagine a simplicity and a silence that their city will never know.
“Don’t be surprised if it explodes one day!” When I met Mylmo I knew nothing about him except that he was rapper who was performing on the main stage of the Festival on the Niger that very night. I interviewed him in an empty restaurant on the banks of the great river – most…
“As soon as people say ‘Toure’,” Sidi tells me, “they have a vision of a man with his head in Qu’ranic books.” Strange. For me, the vision is of a man in billowing blue robes dispensing liquid gold from a Gibson, a Taylor or a Takamine.
Listen to the spirits and they’ll tell you a deeper tale: that in that vast desert which outsiders are content to call a wasteland, there exists an endless calm, tranquillity and beauty that makes the nomad cry