Je suis le fils de la terre maternelle
Je suis l’enfant des douleurs éternelles
Je ne suis pas le seigneur du désert
Mais l’esclave des horizons nus

I am the son of the maternal ground
I am the child of eternal pain
I am not the lord of the desert
But the slave of naked horizons

From the poem ‘Pas de Nom’ (‘No Name’) by Issa Rhossey, a Touareg poet from the Aïr region. The poem is published in ‘Tourne-tête, le pays déchiqueté’, a collection of modern Touareg poetry edited by Hélène Claudot-Hawad and Hawad, and published by Éditions Amara. This extract is translated from French by Andy Morgan.


From the website’s About page (though I am not sure who wrote this text…) :

When the time came, I ducked under the red leather animal hide covers of a traditional Touareg tent and sat myself down gingerly on a sandy technicolor floor mat. The cool and dark space was filled by about seven men, sitting, lounging, cross-legged, squatting, unperturbed, relaxed and minimalist in their movements. Some were turbanned, others were not. There was Hassan aka Abin Abin aka the Lion of the Desert, Mohammed aka Japonais, Abdallah aka Catastrophe, Ibrahim aka Abaraybone, Kheddou and other extended members of the crew like Sweiloum, Diarra and Bigga. They sat immobile like resting fighters, neither aggressive nor overly friendly. Their calmness and lack of excess… excess talk, excess movement, excess belongings, excess emotion… flustered me. A tea was being prepared with unforced ritual. Tea drinking in the Sahara is emblematic of hospitality, friendship and the slow baked pace of things. I set up my DAT nervously and then asked the dumbest but most obvious question available to the unprepared journalist, “How did it all begin?” Long pause. Mild panic. Tinariwen remained ice cool. Eventually Japonnais began to answer the question in minuscule chunks of guttural and heavily accented French, each punctuated with the phrase “Est ce que tu vois ça?” or “do you get me?”, which sounded more like ‘Iskitiwassa?” Those bafflingly oriental facial features, which are the source of his nickname, remained sharp and penetrating, Shogun-like, throughout. Then after about a minute he motioned me to switch off my DAT machine and proceeded to confer with his brothers-in-arms, in Tamashek, the Touareg language. A full-blown debate started to brew. There seemed to be disagreements about dates, times, names and places. Fifteen minutes later the discussion was still raging, and I was still sitting there, largely ignored, with my inactive DAT machine in front of me. It was almost comical. ( Click to read more …)

Tinariwen & Carlos Santana : Amassakoul







Displaced, abandoned and yet somehow triumphant, the Sara Tavares story is as extraordinary as her music. (Click to read Sara’s story)

Today’s artist suggested by Kanute (visit his blog to find great jazz and useful Linux related info) – thanks so much – great choice – I love Sara’s music – real unique sound – a fusion of so many influences.


Singing in a combination of Portuguese, Angolan, Crioulo and English, Sara Tavares’ songs are quintessentially Cape Verdean yet also personal. “Balancê” is about the need for balance in all of life, and was inspired by an episode during a trip to Zimbabwe. “I saw some really drunk people dancing,” says Tavares. “We were watching them, and they were always almost falling and then they would catch themselves. Just like those people dancing, I also want to dance with that kind of freedom and balance.” The video captures both the anecdotal and philosophical intent of the song. ( from

And here is Sara playing Born Feeling live :

For more of Sara’s music – here are some links:

Thanks so much Dara for posting the very first song – ( Much Kudos to You 🙂 ( from Ali Farka Toure) and what a great blues song ( from the movie ‘Unfaithful’ ).

I didn’t know it before – this just shows all the music I can discover with your help (and I hope you find some of my song choices interesting) so please send me your music if you have a sec – no specs – anything goes – any style – any language – any artist (as you know I love music from Africa so if you can teach me more about musical styles on the African continent -I’d be grateful as well ). Of course it’s even better if it is your own song/lyrics – any musicians in the audience ? 🙂

You might be wondering why I came up with the music project thing.

Well I am used to starting projects – it’s just a good thing to do. Then this is also a way to explain more about all the things we do in the OpenCafe – how “open projects” start and are run and this might encourage you to start your own projects. Then … the music is actually an excuse – to just have fun, discuss things, and get closer to figuring out the meaning of life ….. or hm …. may be it’s not even important to explain at all – but these are some things I have come up with 🙂

Here is the first song suggestion from the new “Send a song page” sent by Dara, hope you like it:

‘Ai du’ by Ali Farka Toure

Click here to see all the films you find Ali Farka Toure songs in.

While I was listening – this is the video that came to mind:

Tracy Chapman & BB King The Thrill Has Gone

A video from Manu Dibango – from Idamawatu on YouTube.

Soul Makossa

Since I discovered Koluki’s blog – I have been looking around for more info on Angolan music – hopefully soon I will have stories and music to post about Angola – in the meantime here is a great song I came across today by Cesaria Evora with a fantastic guitar solo.

A song for today – enjoy!

A video explaining all about the making of the CD and introduces us to the songs as well.


With Djin Djin, Angélique Kidjo brings global melodies to open-minded listeners and continues to branch out into other genres of music, most notably by working with Gilberto Gil and Dave Matthews, among others. The four-time Grammy-nominated singer, composer and performer began her career in the West African country of Benin, but the political turmoil there led her to relocate to Paris in 1980 and then to New York City, where she now resides. On her new album Djin Djin (the title refers to the sound of the bell that greets the beginning of a new day in Africa), Angélique returns to her Beninese roots, building an album around the most traditional rhythms from her country. (read more) (Angelique Kidjo official site)

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