“Recognizing yourself in (this music) or finding a mysterious familiarity is something completely unexplainable.”
Our guest for this episode is Banning Eyre. Banning Eyre is a writer, guitarist and producer, and the senior editor and producer of the public radio program Afropop Worldwide. He has traveled and done music research in over 20 African countries, as well as in the Caribbean, South America and Europe.
His latest initiative is the launch of Lion Songs Records, an independent label dedicated to uplifting overlooked, mostly acoustic music from the African universe. June 2021 sees the release of Boubacar “Badian” Diabate’s Mande Guitar, a showcase recording of finger-style Malian guitar.
Title: Chasing Light
Label: Lion Songs Rec
Music Genre: West African trad music
CD Review by Dawoud Kringle
MFM members are familiar with our brother Banning Eyre. (In July 2021, Eyre was the guest on an MFM webinar on bringing African music to the American music scene: https://musiciansformusicians.org/2021/07/report-mfm-zoom-webinar-5-with-banning-eyre/).
Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021
Time: 6pm to 7:30pm (ET)
Please register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYud-GtpzorEtU2zBhZA4kaF2uOecvtk13c
Text by Banning Eyre
Photo by Banning Eyre
As reported last time, there is plenty of music going being played publically in Malian cities, especially Bamako, despite a State of Emergency. But the impression is deceptive. Crowds at nightclubs are thin. There are almost no foreign visitors to support clubs, festivals and concerts.
While street weddings are on, the families who sponsor them have less to spend, and are more and more inclined to cut costs by hiring lower-rung artists, often not griots as they would have been in the past, and there is less money changing hands. For musicians, there is hardly any point in recording, unless you are one of the lucky few to have an international career. Cellphone technology has made swapping music files so easy that even the pirates who used to undermine artistic careers with cheap cassettes and CDs have a hard time making sales.