In October 2013 Africa Express travelled to Mali to record at the Maison des Jeunes youth centre in Bamako. Among those taking part was contemporary conductor André de Ridder. Inspired by the talent of the local musicians, he set about creating the first ever African version of Terry Riley’s ‘In C’. The award-winning album ‘Africa Express Presents Terry Riley’s In C Mali’ [link to buy] was released to huge critical acclaim and led to a special debut performance in November 2014 in the Turbine Gallery at Tate Modern in London. This was followed by a second performance at the Ruhrtriennale Festival of Arts in Germany in August 2015 (link to audio). Africa Express’s live version of the piece features an ensemble of 18 musicians including vocals, guitars, bass, balafons, violin, peul flute, dj/samples, koras, talking drum, n’goni, delta harp, riti and kalimbas.
Header photo by Marcus Simaitis