“Music in Mali” documentary

Music In Mali: Life Is Hard, Music Is Good:

Via Afropop Worldwide, I came across information on this recently completed documentary about Malian music (filmed before the tragic fighting and repression in that great country). The film is produced by Kanaga System Krush (KSK) Records, but at this point, I don’t have any information on any screenings or its availability. I will keep tabs on it though.

The embedded clip is a 14 minute preview. (Click the full-screen icon to view it properly).

Music In Mali: Life Is Hard, Music Is Good is a feature-length documentary about the musicians, dancers and everyday people of Mali who are creating inspiring heartfelt music in some of the most difficult living conditions of West Africa. For the past five years, Kanaga System Krush (KSK) Records have been recording and documenting the lives of a small group of musicians from Mali. “Music In Mali” features artists such as Djeli Mady, Mangala Camara, Dejenba Seck, and Toumani Diabate, in intimate settings, performing their music and sharing their story. From one of the world’s poorest and most polluted countries viewers will hear and see the music of ceremony and celebration that inspires musicians around the globe including celebrities such as Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder and Bannning Eyre. From the villages of the Segou to the ghettos of Bamako the message is clear “Life is hard, music is good”.


Co-incidentally, the same day I read news of this documentary, I also read comments by Paul Simon about Malian music. Simon has been getting a lot of press coverage lately over the 25th anniversary of his landmark Graceland album, and the resultant documentary, Under African Skies, mentioned in a recent interview with National Geographic, that he had begun appreciating Malian music two years ago. (Where have you been?!)

An excerpt from that interview:

Have you discovered more music lately from different parts of the world?

 Two years ago, I started to get into a lot of music from Mali [music in Mali has been influenced by several strong musical roots, including the ancient Mande empire, local ethnic rhythms, and Moorish-European form]. And now I wonder what is going on because there is a revolution in Mali.