By David // Wednesday 26 Sep // 16:01:52 // 1 Comment // View
Those who dispense a great deal of money for discovering other planets do not care much about protecting our own planet. I simply cannot understand this! Our first walk begins with a single step on a single foot. This foot is our planet. We must save it.
Dictated by Aminatu in French. Transcribed into English by Vikram Seth.
Aminatu Goumar is musician and singer from the deserts of Africa. Born in Niger 28 years ago she was raised as a Touareg nomad traveling between Mali, Morocco, Algeria and Niger. She prefers to call herself a Saharian and not attached to one fixed country.
Aminatu now lives in Paris playing guitar, percussion and singing alongside Moussa Ag Keyna with the band Toumast. They take the music of the desert blues in an unexpected and radical direction and their album ‘Ishumar’ (‘Identity’) is a testimony of years of combat and struggle of the Toureg people. These compelling songs of exile and the nomadic life are driven by looping camel-gait rhythms, stinging electric guitar and gutteral call-and-response vocals. Bold touches in production – strings, sax enhance the funky grooves are punctuated by the beautiful, errie voice of Aminatu.
A Touareg nomad, who has spent his or her whole life amongst the compounds of the Sahara desert, is loath to leave. He follows his camels on the quest to find water, he tends his animals whilst absorbed in song, wrapping their faces in the turban that protects them from the harsh desert sands. But political persecution and drought are destroying this existence and have driven many people from the life they love. Aminatou, like many of her people, understand the vital significance of water and the direct impact global warming is having on their existence – they are close to the land and feel the effects first hand.
Despite the pain and sadness in the songs,there is also a passion for the desert that emerges through the lively rhythm, the vibrant melody and an irresistible pop sensibility.