Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bombino: Nomad

"Bombino, a member of the nomadic Tuareg people, has spent many of his 33 years roaming Africa’s northwestern hump, depending on which way the wars were blowing. ... In music, his phrases are tight, polished, full of energy. The lyrics to his songs may soar in the original Tamashek — the language of the Tuareg — but in translation they sound vaguely Maoist: 'Wake up, my people / Confront the difficulties of your current situation. / A long road awaits you.' He was born Omara Moctar into a people of goat herders and camel drivers, who plied the trade routes from Central Africa to the Mediterranean and live in a territory that crosses into Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Libya, and Algeria. Unloved by governments for their resistance to borders and central authority, the Tuareg have fought a series of rebellions. Crackdowns followed, forcing the Moctar family to migrate to Tamanrasset, Algeria, in the early nineties. It was there that he became addicted to music: 'Whenever my cousins went out, I’d steal their guitar and try to play a bit,' he recalls. His teachers were a couple of VHS cassettes of Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits" (Justin Davidson, "Touching Down in Brooklyn: On the Transporting Power of the Nomadic Guitarist Bombino," New York, 6/17/13).

View catalog record here!


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