Saturday, January 24, 2009

salif keita

St. Patty’s Day!... in here in Yaounde. 'easy like Sunday morning.' the Southwest crew cam in. Kristen, Ludvig and Robert. always good to see them. Kristen is well. school’s all right. going back home in July. that, too, is all right. better to leave and know than stay and wonder.

wondered as i listened to Salif Keita’s music on BBC’s Heartbeat this morning. famous Malian artist. beautiful guitar. soulful voice. haunting melodies. i lose myself in those songs... i can feel the music affect me physically. it’s powerful. it speaks to me.


  1. he's a great artist. when i came back from cameroon, he was one of the artists that i listened to most...still is one of the artists that i listen to a great deal. what is it in the music that is so appealing, when i don't even understand a word that is being said? people that i know that haven't traveled much, can't really sit an listen to it and yet i could do so for hours on end. somehow the words, while i'm sure knowing them would give me a greater appreciation of the music, don't convey the whole meaning, the passion.

    have you had a chance to follow other malian artists like habib koite or ali farka toure? youssou n'dour (spelling) is another artist that i enjoy.

    be well my friend


  2. i hear you, bro... and i've heard those other artists (malian and senegalese), as well. all amazing. and similarly moving. both while i was listening to them in cameroon, and now.

    i feel like music, as an expression of culture, is intimately connected to the landscape that inspired it. in addition to whatever else inspires the artist personally, of course.

    i always thought that the music of the sahel (i'm generalizing here) spoke to me b/c that landscape & culture did... much more so than the music i heard from other parts of cameroon and further south in the congo.

    i'd be interested in hearing what you think... especially in comparing the artists you mentioned to the music popular in cameroon when we were there. there's beauty in both, no doubt.

    peace :)