Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Djinni's Tune

Genie on sandy river bank
Inspired by, but NOT claiming to be an accurate representation of, the story behind The River Tune from the album Segu Blue by Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba.

According to the album literature, Bassekou Kouyate's ancestor, the griot Jelimusa Wulen Kouyate, met a djinni playing the ngoni on the bank of a branch of the Niger River. The griot asked the djinni for a gift: the instrument and the tune that the djinni was playing.

This was the legend of how the Kouyates of Segu, capital of the Bamana Empire, received the first tune ever played on the ngoni. The melody, formerly known as "The Branch of the River", is "The River Tune" in Segu Blue.

Costume influenced by, but by no means claiming to be an authentic representation of, the costumes in the 13th century Malian period film Yeelen directed by Souleymane Cisse.

Art available as: A shout out to my wonderful friends who helped with modeling and critique. Thanks for being so awesome!

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