Derek Gripper :: ’56 (Ali “Farka” Touré)

Derek Gripper launched the “digital” version of One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali at the South African Slave Church Museum in May 2012. Playful yet poignant, the album sees the unprecedented arrangement of 21-string West African kora music on six-string classical guitar, exploring the compositions of Mali’s Toumani Diabaté (who performed at the Slave Church in 2009). The album also features Ali “Farka” Touré’s “’56,” which is derived from a Guinean revolutionary song. From Conakry to Timbuktu to Cape Town, “’56” speaks of music’s ability to shrink time and space, uniting three seemingly disconnected African states and, coincidentally, a period of 56 years, into a single performance. Night on Earth is being released on CD this month and is available from New Cape Records on Bandcamp.

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