2012 Preview: Sahel Sounds

Max from Yonta Hande (Pulaar for “New Generation”); Christopher Kirkley, Sahel Sounds

[With a new year approaching, The Art of the Rural is pulling back on the reins and taking a much-needed breather. Instead of going silent for two weeks, however, we’ll offer tidbits on the articles we are planning for early 2012. Much more information and commentary will accompany these links at that time. In the interim we will still provide updates on our Rural Arts and Culture Feed. The Art of the Rural will return to normal operations on Friday, December 30th. Thanks again for reading – and making 2011 such and exciting and inspiring year!]
Christopher Kirkley frequently travels from his home in Portland, Oregon to western Africa, in an effort to document the region’s extraordinary diversity of musical expression. His Sahel Sounds site offers an audio travelogue of sorts from these journeys and brings these musicians work to audiences around the world. 
One of his collections of this work, Music from Saharan Cellphones, has just been released on vinyl (downloads here) via Mississippi Records. I can’t recommend this record (as well as this year’s Ishilan n-Tenere) highly enough – please follow the links to learn more. 
Folks who may have been at the M12’s BIG FEED have heard my consideration of this music (and its transmission) alongside the Alan Lomax recordings of Fred McDowell. I’m looking forward to sharing all of this in greater detail in 2012. 
Here’s the Kickstarter video from Mr. Kirkley’s successful campaign to bring Music from Saharan Cellphones to vinyl: