Thought For The Week: Toumani Diabate’s Symmetric Orchestra – Tapha Niang

Another week has gone by and so much is going on in the world. Countries are falling apart. Syria are blowing up the Universities, Algeria is under terrorist threats with all their hostages and Mali has been overpowered by Islamic Fundamentalists. Same old story. This post is about Mali.

Mali is slowly but forcefully being over run by a strict islamic rule, and this is a massive culture clash to Mali. In a list of unreasonable demands to set in the 21st century (such as a lack of women’s rights to name one of the most predominant in islamic rule) the one that is most changing for Mali is that music is banned. It sounds like a modern African equivalent of ‘Footloose’ but this is deadly serious. I wasn’t aware until this issue came up, but Mali has such a rich tradition in music that this is a culture shock that is destroying Mali (as if the other Islamic rules aren’t enough).

So upon finding out that Mali has an amazing set of musicians, I decided to venture out and try to find some, as I assumed I hadn’t heard any. I was wrong. I found a few artists that had been brought to my attention through other sources, and now I have found them and explored them I’ve found to love the music. I think I will post a few links ove the coming weeks about Mali as the situation progresses.

The song I’ve put up today was the first song I’d heard from Mali even though I didn’t know that at the time.
Those that know me, know that one of my all time favourite video games is LittleBigPlanet. I fell in love with it. What I also liked about the game was the soundtrack, and it was through LittleBigPlanet that I found DJ Krush, and this guy Toumani Diabate. The song I’v posted here was on the game, and it was this song that meant the games release had to be postponed because some people (guess who) were offended by the song containing verses from the qur’an in it. The reason to be offended? They thought that music is ‘haram’ and is in the same category of things such as alcohol and drugs, so including the qur’an in music can be seen to be offensive. So my favourite game ever was delayed because people got offended by an un-offensive lyric which is in the book they worship so highly. Ugh.

This issue does matter to me. Mainly because Islamic Fascism is trying to take over another country and I’m sick of that shit. Also, because a country rich in a musical tradition is having that stripped away. So enjoy.

J

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2 thoughts on “Thought For The Week: Toumani Diabate’s Symmetric Orchestra – Tapha Niang

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