Thursday, July 21, 2011

3M Fascination: A Malian Music Movie

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a big fan of music from West Africa, and Mali in particular. There’s something about the strong, resonant, string-driven, yet characteristically rhythmic African music that is clearly a wellspring for the Delta blues of the American southern, but also retains something uniquely distinct – even today, despite the infiltration of technology and cultural influences from the U.S., France and the Caribbean.

So it was with this perspective that I was delighted and intrigued to stumble across mention of this new movie-in-the-works about the music and musicians of Mali: Music in Mali: Life Is Hard, Music Is Good.

I didn’t learn about it through one of the typical music sources. No, I learned about it through reports on social media and unique approaches to fund raising; in this case,

The video trailer above was part of the filmmakers’ effort to solicit a few bucks – from potential future viewers and otherwise good music-loving doobies like you and me – to help them cover the expenses of finishing off their film – eight years in the making. Not knowing a whole lot about Kanaga System Krush Records or this project, I can’t vouch for it’s veracity, but from I’ve read it appears to be legit. KickStarter has a good rep, too – as far as I know. And, how can you not be drawn in by the edgy, primal electric dessert melodies and vibrant imagery of hard life made joyous by music.

It seems that the filmmakers have already surpassed (at least in pledges) their goal of $20k by this weekend, but it’s still worth a look and consideration. The sneak peak above suggests they have something original and needed (on several levels) in the works. I can’t wait to see it on the big screen at an art house cinema one of these years.

• Click these links for more information about the Music in Mali: Life Is Hard, Music Is Good project. and KickStarter.

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