The following excerpt is from the liner notes of The Art of the Soprano, Vol.1
Monday, September 17, 2012
The Soprano de Africana Suite
When composing and performing this suite I used a variety of African folk instruments as sources of inspiration: the mbira, the thumb piano from Zimbabwe; the balaphone, a xylophone-like instrument common through out West Africa; and the countless flutes and double reed instruments from indigenous places throughout the African continent as a whole.
By design, West African instruments are made to play simple melodies, usually based on pentatonic scales, with the musical emphasis being on groove, strong rhythm and call and response—contrary to the instrumental virtuosity and harmonic sophistication aesthetic, which is revered in most Western music.
Pablo Picasso also spoke of this, saying how it took him four years to learn to paint like Renaissance painter Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino), but a lifetime to paint like a child. As artists, it seems to be a natural evolution to return to our primitive, childlike beginnings.
This track is titled "Burkino Faso" from the Soprano de Africana suite.
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