[Chris Kirkley sketch by Isabel in Mauritania]
One of my favorite musical investigators will be joining me live on Mudd Up! a week from today: Chris Kirkley. You may know him from the Music from Saharan Cellphones compilation, or the Ishilan n-Tenere LP on Mississippi Records, or his TOP LEVEL blog, Sahel Sounds. As I was working on Beyond Digital this summer, Chris was (relatively) nearby in Mauritania doing all sort of amazing & related work, and I can’t wait for him to take us through it.
Chris will be coming to the WFMU studios on Monday September 26th, stopping by Mudd Up! from 8-9pm. In a recent email, Chris details what we can expect:
I’ve been looking over the music I have and putting together a rough collection of stuff to bring. The music is representative of some of the local popular styles and genres, often the synth / drum machine / DIY PC aesthetic.
I’d also like to talk about the work of sound archivist/producer and the different ways of collecting, be it old school field recording style or searching for mp3s. One of the fascinating things to me with the whole cellphone project has been how music exists in the sahel — its creation, propagation and experience, via cellphones or cyber cafes — and how this creates these p2p networks that exist similar to but independent of the internet.
In terms of specifics, I’ve got Mauritanian synth wedding recordings, Hausa music, “Balani Show” Bamako parties, and hip hop — pretty diverse stuff, but cohesive in character.
The day after his radio appearance, the rogue scholar will present a selection of music videos from Mauritania at Brooklyn’s rogue cinema, Spectacle. And if you want to help Music from Saharan Cellphones make yet another medium-jump, there’s a Kickstarter project to turn the free MP3 compilation in 12″ vinyl.