‘ But what I’ve gradually understood through our conversations

canadian goose jacket Guitarist Derek Gripper Conjures The Sound Of The Kora From Thousands Of Miles Away canadian goose jacket

Derek Gripper was a musician with a problem. He’d been playing classical music since he was 6 years old violin, then piano and finally guitar. He was poised for an international career as a classical guitarist. But he remembers going to the homeland of one of his favorite composers, Johann Sebastian Bach.

Canada Goose Outlet “It felt kind of canada goose outlet germany strange,” he says. “It felt strange to be in Germany playing Bach to them.” Canada Goose Outlet

canada goose coats The kora looks like a giant, upside down Tootsie Pop. canada goose outlet store montreal A large gourd sits at the bottom of a long neck traversed by the 21 strings. The player sits, canada goose outlet resting the gourd in his lap with the neck vertical, and plucks the strings with the thumb and canada goose outlet phone number one finger of each hand. canada goose coats

canada goose coats on sale It’s a tradition that https://www.getcanadagooseoutlet.com dates back some 800 years. Gripper tried to learn it canada goose outlet online store on his guitar, listening canada goose outlet edmonton to records and scribbling the notes he canada goose womens outlet could discern down on paper. canada goose coats on sale

“You become canada goose outlet near me an archaeologist,” he says. “You work it out and you canada goose premium outlet read the CD liner notes and you slow the music down. And you just try and work it out.”

Gripper recorded two albums of this music without ever visiting Mali.

canada goose clearance “He’d done the whole thing entirely from listening with no one canada goose outlet usa to guide him,” says Lucy Duran. canada goose clearance

Canada Goose Parka Gripper had emailed Duran for advice because she knows a few things about West African music: She has produced six albums by Toumani Diabat and a bunch of others. She hosted a popular BBC world music program. And she teaches at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Canada Goose Parka

Canada Goose Jackets She had heard about Gripper before he reached out to her. But she didn’t know quite what to think canada goose outlet paypal about the white South African who was transcribing kora music onto the guitar. Canada Goose Jackets

Canada Goose online “I think I probably groaned,” she recalls, “and rolled my eyes and thought: Oh God. Oh, all right. But as soon as I listened, then I realized that he was approaching this from a very different spirit of just imitation.” Canada Goose online

canada goose black friday sale Duran and Gripper began a lengthy email correspondence, and the canada goose outlet los angeles guitarist dove into the canada goose factory outlet toronto location music, absorbing everything he could. canada goose black friday sale

Lucy Duran thinks he’s pulled it off. “With some canada goose uk site careful transcribing and with some re tuning, it was possible to play kora music pretty much as it sounds on the guitar,” she says.

But she still had one nagging question for Gripper.

cheap Canada Goose ” ‘Why should I bother listening to you? Why don’t I just listen to the kora?’ ” canada goose coats uk she asked him. “And Derek, of course, who’s got a wonderful sense of humor, said, ‘Well that’s a very good question. [I] don’t know that you would necessarily listen to me.’ But what I’ve gradually understood through our conversations is that what he’s doing canada goose outlet kokemuksia is expanding the universe of classical guitar by bringing a whole new repertoire into it.” cheap Canada Goose

That excites the classical guitarist John Williams.

“I think getting the feel and the understanding and the cultural understanding of different music is very important for us as classical canada goose outlet florida players,” Williams says.

canada goose deals It’s something Williams has done himself, performing with musicians from around the world and recording his own album of arrangements of African music. Williams is often praised by critics for his technique, so when he canada goose outlet montreal praises Derek Gripper, it carries some weight. canada goose deals

“He’s absolutely amazing,” Williams enthuses. “I mean, it sounds a bit superficial to say that it sounds often like two guitars [but] it’s so many notes that it sounds like two guitars. canada goose outlet in new york And that in itself really doesn’t mean much. It’s really what the music’s like. And he’s got that feel which is just fantastic you know, I mean unbelievable.. I think he’s someone that we all have a lot to learn canada goose jacket outlet uk from.”

buy canada goose jacket cheap Derek Gripper finally made it to Mali earlier this year when Toumani Diabat himself extended an invitation after hearing Gripper’s records. Gripper says he learned a lot. buy canada goose jacket cheap

“In Bamako, I saw a 9 year old have his first three lessons on the kora. And nobody told him the name of anything. And nobody corrected him or told him, ‘Don’t do this.’ Or, ‘Do that and go and practice it,’ ” Gripper says. “And my goodness, by the third day he was playing something that I would not have chosen as my beginner piece.”

He says the style of teaching runs in stark contrast to what he describes as the “Calvinist work ethic” of how Western classical music is taught.

Canada Goose sale “To see that to see a musical language being taught and spoken and shared as a language, as opposed to some kind of crazy, pedantic rite was something. It was canada goose jacket outlet store very inspiring.” Canada Goose sale

The experience led him to ask a question: “What can a griot teach us about how we play Bach?”

canada goose clearance sale Griots are the bearers of tradition in West Africa they pass on the stories, music and culture canada goose outlet price they learned from their predecessors to the next generation. Gripper canada goose outlet toronto factory says the way they do that could teach us something. canada goose clearance sale

“I have this idea that someone like Toumani you know, the griots who live in an oral tradition are quite a bit closer to their kind of understanding on a general level of their relationship to music and how they play than classical musicians who’ve come through a written tradition,” he says. “So I’ve been using that as my ‘in’ to understand OK, how would I play this music of Bach?”

canada goose store Now the 38 year old guitarist is using what he’s learned to play Bach, the music of West Africa, and his own compositions. He’s sharing his knowledge on his website and through the transcriptions he’s made available to other guitarists. And he’s played his arrangements of kora music to young black audiences in South Africa canada goose store.

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