“Diversity, colour and vitality” is how Simha Arom describes his impression of hearing African music for the first time. It was 1963 and he had arrived in Bangui, the capitol of the Central African Republic.
I have always been impressed by the energy and complexity that one hears in African music. It is first and foremost the percussive and rhythmic drive that propels this music and interests me. In Bangui, Arom heard percussionists playing “tightly interlocked rhythms” and horn ensembles of up to twenty musicians each playing a single note that was a part of a larger whole of a “precise polyphonic latticework.” (more…)