We just got back from yet another amazing day with Baaba Maal and his band. We’ve spent the past two days recording up on the roof of Baaba’s home in Dakar. The intermittent calls to worship echoing from across the city and the chittering of the birds that live in one of Baaba’s trees have added a beautiful environmental component to our recordings. He has been a wonderful host to our whole crew, and we’ve all developed quite a taste for the local tea he brews– it’s an extremely strong green tea, served sweetened in small (maybe 2 ounce) glasses. Both days we’ve kept going long after the sun set (the tea kept us all wide awake), completing our sessions by the warm glow of tungsten light bulbs.
We’ve established a great foundation for our new Songs Around the World here in West Africa, adding percussion such as the calabash, talking drum, and djembe, in addition to guitar, and vocals. We’re looking forward to tomorrow, when a very famous kora player is arriving from Mauritania to add her talents to the project.
We also had a great interview today with Baaba’s Talking Drum player, Massamba Diop– what a player! He gave us some amazing insight into the history of the talking drum and how it was used as a means of communication between families and villages. He then went around the room and played each of our names. It was so cool to hear our names being spoken by his drum– his drum does talk!
Baaba Maal and his band are performing a pair of shows Friday and Saturday here in Dakar. We’re planning to meet up with them tomorrow afternoon before the show to get another session in. We can’t wait to begin to share all the great music we’re experiencing with the Playing For Change Family– and we will– just as soon as we have the chance to do some editing! In the meantime…
Peace and Love from Senegal!
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