Sometimes you are given a gift of something new, something that resonates true to your own spirit. I always felt that the quickest way to one’s heart and soul is through music, it has this way of capturing every yearning, every point of inspiration, pieces of a dream you’ve carried within and never had the words to describe how it felt except through song, through sound, through music.
To be humbled by that which we at times may take for granted is for others a life of survival through which music and expressing through song is the very thing that keeps them alive. And there is nothing more beautiful to me than the discovery of such art. This particular story of a group of African musicians descendant from the desert tribe of the Tuareg called “Tinariwen” is a compelling one to say the least.
"TINARIWEN’S OWN STORY BURGEONS WITH MYTH AND MYTHOS IN THEIR HOME COUNTRY AND BEYOND. THEIR TALE IS THE STUFF OF LEGENDS. FOUNDING MEMBER IBRAHIM AG ALHABIB, GREW UP IN DESOLATION IN MALI, WHERE HE WITNESSED HIS OWN FATHER’S DEATH AT THE AGE OF FOUR. LATER, AFTER SEEING A WESTERN FILM, HE BUILT HIS FIRST GUITAR FROM A BICYCLE WIRE, A STICK AND A TIN CAN. THE BAND WAS FOUNDED IN THE 1980’S IN TUREG CAMPS IN LIBYA, WHERE THE NOMADIC PEOPLES HAD RELOCATED TO FIND WORK AND A NEW LIFE AWAY FROM THEIR HOMELAND OF THE SAHARA. DISILLUSIONED BY THE PROMISES OF QUADDAFI AT THE TIME, THE TUAREG BECAME RESTLESS AGAIN AND LONGED FOR HOME. BUT THE INTERACTION WITH CITY LIFE YIELDED UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES, THE BECAME EXPOSED TO WESTERN MUSIC — MOST NOTABLY THE GUITAR-DRIVEN ANTHEMS OF JIMI HENDRIX AND THE AMERICAN BLUES — WHICH THEY MIXED WITH THEIR OWN SOULFUL DIRGES WHICH THEY’D PERFORM IN THE CAMPS BY THE FIRE WITH BATTERY-OPERATED AMPS. WHEN REVOLUTION BROKE OUT BACK IN MALI, THEY LEFT LIBYA BEHIND, HUNG UP THEIR GUITARS AND PICKED UP GUNS TO FIGHT FOR THE TUAREG INDEPENDENCE. WHEN THE DISCHORD DIED DOWN, THE BAND RETURNED TO MUSIC, DELIVERING SONGS IMBUED WITH ACHING BEAUTY AND LONESOME POETRY. THEIR MUSIC WAS BOOTLEGGED AND TRADED AROUND THE REGION, EARNING THEM A DEVOUT FOLLOWING. THEN IN THE LATE 1990S, THEY WERE DISCOVERED BY WESTERN MUSICIANS AND FOR THE FIRST TIME, THEIR SONGS LEFT THE SAHARA AND WERE INTRODUCED TO THE WORLD. FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS, THE NOMADS NOW TRAVELED THE WORLD, PERFORMING AT NEARLY EVERY NOTABLE FESTIVALS AND VENUES AROUND THE GLOBE, PROVIDING THE WORLD WITH A TASTE OF THE ACHING BEAUTY AND LONESOME PLEASURES OF SAHARAN ASSOUF."
If you ever wondered what it was like to listen to nomads play the saharan blues beneath a starlit sky in the deserts of Africa, here it is….. enjoy!