Sunday, February 10, 2008

Dirtmusic In The Desert


My very good friend Peter from Stuttgart just returned from a trip to Africa with Dirtmusic. There, he had the chance to attend the Festival au Desert, a unique musical event held every year since 2001 in the very deep center of Africa, in Mali, a Tuareg country. You’ll find the full story of his journey on his website together with pictures and musical video clips. Peter allowed me to extract parts of his aventure where he also discovered the music from TamiKrest.

“I have long been friends with Chris Eckman (The Walkabouts). He’s a great fan of African music and attended the festival in 2006. When we met up in spring 2007, the desire to go there took concrete shape. He was touring with his newly-formed band, Dirt Music, and renewed the contacts he’d made in 2006 to discuss an invitation.
Besides Chris Eckman, Dirt Music includes singer/song-writer Chris Brokaw (Come, Codeine, Eleventh Dream Day, Steve Wynn and many more) and Hugo Race (True Spirit, Nick Cave, to name but a few). All these musicians are very versatile, open-minded and prepared to let themselves in for an adventure into the unknown. What more could one ask for…
…Then, in the evening of the 10th of January, the Festival au Desert was officially opened on the main stage. About 2,500 visitors were expected, but it’s unlikely that anyone can estimate the number exactly since the large numbers of Tuaregs coming from the desert on their camels naturally don’t pay admission and are therefore not counted. I'd say the majority of visitors are Tuaregs. Europeans or Americans represent perhaps 10% of the visitors. The festival originated aeons ago as a marketplace and trading centre of the Tuareg, who are a nomad people. Once a year, the Tuareg met at this “neutral” place in the Sahara where the tribes could compare notes and generally exchange views, marry off their children and, of course, also celebrate together. Celebrating includes music and since 2001 they have always organized a musical festival around this meeting, which in latter years has opened up more and more to the general public.
The festival is not only a musical event. It is intended that the peoples celebrate and communicate together and mutually help each other to solve the problems…”

Full story:
www.hcmf.de/desert (in English and in German)

Dirtmusic web:
myspace.com/dirtmusicband
Tamikrest web:
myspace.com/tamikrest
CD available at Glitterhouse

The Walkabouts - Devil In The Details .mp3
The Walkabouts - Fuck Your Fear .mp3
Nick Cave - The Mercy Seat .mp3
Eleventh Dream Day - Writes A Letter Home .mp3 via Harmoniummusic

Photo : Peter Weber - Dirtmusic (January, 2008)

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9 Comments:

Blogger AmstraD said...

Eleventh Dream Day is such A great band and Eighth a master piece !

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This festival sounds like a great time!

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