Marking the 50th anniversary of Terry Riley’s pioneering masterpiece In C Mali, Africa Express has now released the first African version of the minimalist classic.
This new version was recorded at the Maison des Jeunes youth club in Bamako, Mali, and is led by contemporary conductor André de Ridder. The album features the cream of new artists from Bamako, among them AdamaKoita, Bijou, Cheick Diallo and ModiboDiawara alongside Africa Express stalwarts Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, Jeff Wootton and Nick Zinner.
Co-produced and mixed by Andi Toma (Mouse on Mars), the album will be released via Transgressive Records on digital formats, with a CD and limited edition vinyl.
Recently, Africa Express and Tate Modern presented a one-off performance of the piece on the Bridge of the Turbine Gallery at Tate Modern in London.
Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ is often cited as the first minimalist composition and continues to receive numerous performances around the world every year from musicians of all standards and musical backgrounds – from classical to rock to jazz to non-Western.
The various recordings made over the years reflect the all-encompassing nature of the work: Riley celebrates his 80th year on the planet in 2015, and he continues to be an active composer.
In the new recording, the ensemble feeds the piece with ancient threads of musical wisdom and humanity indicating that this work is a vessel ready to receive and be shaped by the spontaneous feelings and colours of the musicians.
Hailed as a revolutionary force in popular music, Africa Express brings together musicians from different cultures, genres and generations to break boundaries and offer new perspectives, and has produced a series of extraordinary live shows since its first public performance with a now legendary five-hour set at Glastonbury 2007.
The full list of performers on Africa Express Presents… In C Mal is:
Alou Coulibaly: Calabash
Andi Toma: Additional Percussion, Kalimba
André de Ridder: Violin, Baritone-guitar, Kalimba
BadouMbaye: Djembe, Percussion
Brian Eno, Bijou, Olugbenga: Vocals
Cheick Diallo: Flutes
Damon Albarn: Melodica
DefilySako, ModiboDiawara : Kora
Guindo Sala: Imzad
KalifaKoné, MéméKoné: Balafon
Nick Zinner, Jeff Wootton: Guitar