What an amazing day of music, recording, and sheer joy we all just shared with Baaba Maal at his house outside of Dakar! Mark first met up with him in England this past Spring while the PFC Band was preparing to share the stage with him at Glastonbury. Since then we have been planning a trip to Senegal to work with him, and today was the day we’ve all been dreaming of. Baaba invited our crew over to his home to record performances by himself and a few of his incredibly talented friends, and it went SO well.
Following a breakfast of fresh fruit and tea, we setup beneath a towering mango tree in Baaba’s front yard and spent the day recording some of the most beautiful music. We fell absolutely in love with one of his songs called “Tara.” After the session Baaba explained to us that he wrote the song years ago, but had never recorded it… until now that is– and what a recording it was! We concluded the day with a delicious meal served on a mat beneath the mango tree, and it was the perfect end to an unbelievable day.
This past year has been a beautiful journey for Playing For Change– releasing the album “Songs Around the World” and our film “Peace Through Music,” and putting together the Playing For Change Band’s first coast-to-coast tour… But all of those milestones owe their existence to days like today.
There was something magical about going back into production in the field. There is no doubt that a huge part of that magic came from Baaba Maal and his friends. More of it was created by the synergy of the music with the environment– The birds and the breeze, children playing and roosters crowing, and even the occasional passing cars all made their own contributions to the musical experience we recorded today. And knowing that we would soon be sharing this afternoon’s intimate performance with the rest of the world was the final ingredient to that special magic we all felt today.
Tomorrow is going to be another big day. The whole country (and much of the continent) is celebrating Tobaski, and Baaba is performing a large concert in honor of the holiday. We are all looking forward to another magical day of music, but for now it is back to the hotel for our crew.
Peace and Love from Senegal!
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