Monday, December 14, 2009

La Réalité - Amadou et Mariam

Though this blind couple from Mali has been making music for decades, their ascent to international stardom began in full force in 2004 when Manu Chao produced their breakthrough album Dimanche à Bamako. Mariam's voice is best described as "sweet-and-sour," and combined with Amadou's light n steady, full n heavy guitar playing, occasional cowbell, and a host of other world instruments, their heart-thumping, foot-grooving sound gives traditional Malian blues some pop n' rock.

Their music appeals to audiences worldwide, and I had the pleasure of full-bodily experiencing their music this past fall at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. At the very back of a dense crowd of hundreds we sought barefooted refuge in the open space, in the cool night air where we had the room to converse in movement with the music that was so loud it drowned out voices, to twist n sway n dance n sweat so that we stripped off layers of clothing and layers of consciousness, almost until we were bare. Glitter-glowing nothings, we were there. What is the mystical beauty of music and movement and this timeless, everlasting, empty mystery of being?

No comments:

Post a Comment