Events

An Evening With Philip Glass and Gambian Kora Master Foday Musa Suso

Internationally renowned composer Philip Glass and master kora player Foday Musa Suso's dramatic and style-shifting NYC concert.

Internationally renowned composer Philip Glass and master kora player Foday Musa Suso have been performing and collaborating for the better part of the last three decades.


Their most recent appearance, which was hosted at Brooklyn’s newly opened performance arts space National Sawdust and co-produced by the World Music Institute, included percussionist Asher Delerme and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler for a four-piece ensemble.

Their 90-minute set included selections from Glass and Suso’s famous collaborative album, The Screens. Originally commissioned as accompaniment for a play by Jean Genet about Algeria’s independence from France, this unconventional pairing was inspired by the playwright’s desire to contain both African and European traditions.

As with each revisitation of the duo’s 1992 LP, Glass and Suso updated the original composition of tracks like “The Mad Caidi’s Court,” “Night On The Balcony” and “The Orchard,” accommodating for their lack of players with a tightly arranged rework. A similar approach was taken from songs performed from their score work on Godfrey Reggio’s 1988 art house documentary, Powaqqatsi.

The evening reached its peak during the ensemble’s performance of Philip Glass’ Orion, a remarkable album featuring an international cast of collaborators (including Ravi Shankar, Wu Man, Ashley MacIsaac and Suso).

Between ensemble arrangements were a few captivating, wholly arresting solo sets. The first was from Jeffrey Zeigler performing Philip Glass’ solo cello composition, “Orbit.” Later in the set, Foday Musa Suso shared two original songs (“Kenyalon,” “Cloud Walk”) from his catalogue of solo material.

These songs featured a dramatic shift in the style which Suso performed the kora, a massive, 21-string harp-like instrument invented by his ancestral grandfather almost four centuries ago. Tuned in a customary West African mode, these exciting solo kora songs were more intense and much less inhibited than formal arrangements by the full ensemble.

Philip Glass and Foday Musa Soso closed the night with a stunning reprise of their opening number, “The Mad Caidi’s Court.”

Philip Glass, Foday Musa Suso, Asher Delerme and Jeffrey Zeigler. Photography by Jill Steinberg,

Set List

1. “The Mad Caidi’s Court”

2. “Shadow Dance”

3. “Rosegarden”

4. “Night On The Balcony”

5. “Orion”

6. “Orbit”

7. “Spring Waterfall”

8. “The Orchard”

9. “Kenyalon”

10. “Cloud Walk”

11. “Voices Of Octaves”

12. “The Mad Caidi’s Court (reprise)”

assets.rbl.ms

The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Simi, Stonebwoy, Riky Rick, Olamide, Wizkid, La Même Gang and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Cyclone Kenneth Could Be the Second Damaging Storm To Hit Mozambique In Over a Month

Tanzanian authorities have also warned those living along the southern coast to move to safer ground ahead of the storm.

Just shortly after Mozambique was ravaged with the devastating Cyclone Idai in March, the country has been warned of another destructive storm that's heading their way very soon.

Keep reading... Show less
Video

Stonebwoy & Beenie Man's 'Shuga' Is a Full Dose of Energy

Ghana meets Jamaica in this impressive new collaboration.

Stonebwoy, one of Ghana's major dancehall names, links up with Jamaican legend Beenie Man for this new single, "Shuga."

"Shuga" is built on stuttering synth hits and beat work produced by Ghana's StreetBeatz. Stonebwoy and the "King of Dancehall" connect over the energetic rhythm, each delivering their own verses—add one more track to the many stellar cross-Atlantic musical collaborations that have been going on for years, in particular between West Africa and Jamaica.

"This collab is legendary," Stonebwoy wrote on his social media pages.

The single comes paired with a new music video directed by BlingBlang which follows the Ghanaian star and Beenie Man to a railroad station as they turn a train car into a dancehall party. Beenie Man even plays the conductor for a few shots.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.