My son Raphael and his brother Gabriel went back to their yankee grandmother’s home in Virginia and found old college work of mine somewhere in the basement……Raphael shoveled snow from a christmas winter storm and gave my ex-brother in law the cash to ship a box full of 25 year old work back to me, which I just received.
Back in 84,’ I was, as I am still, extremely fond of any kind of natural history displays and one of the first thing I do whenever I fly into a new city is seek out their natural history museum…
I remember calling the a biologist or zoologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City who cordially invited to come down and peruse their collection both back stage and in the Museum’s galleries without as much as checking my credentials (whatever a 19 year old might have had at the time).
At the time I thought that photographing dioramas as well as storage units in the museum’s research facilities was a swell and brilliant idea, not realizing that Hiroshi Sugimoto had beaten me to the punch…..
Intelligence I gathered, a few months later while visiting a camera store (whose name escapes me at the moment) in mid-town Manhattan, by gazing disappointedly at a beautifully printed large print of an ostrich and it’s chicks, hanging over the counter…. A diorama I had also photographed a few months back at the Museum…..
A little Malagasy pop culture….and those Malagasy girls…..eesh….!!!!.. Yeahkka..! Like catnip.
I have been a huge fan of African music since I was 5 or 6 years old. My father had brought 78 RPM LPs from Madagascar and I remember listening to them and being completely transfixed. From then on I kept on searching for African music without much luck. Not until the late 70s and early 80s that anything resembling contemporary African music became available; at least where I shopped in Paris.
Being that it was the FNAC, we had always assumed this was the best music store, and it was, but besides the odd African drum or scratchy thumb piano field recordings, African popular music was nowhere to be found.
Slowly but surely African emigrants in Paris and London brought their LPs along with their instruments and these sounds and the music started to become more and more available.
Over the last 30 years I have amassed a gianormous collection of continent wide African music. I have always wanted to bring this up on the blog but did not want to just post songs on-line.
Anyway, Raphael is learning to play guitar and he has been spending a lot of time online watching the myriad tutorials and guitar virtuosos on YouTube. On a whim I typed in “Les Wanyika” to see what might transpire. They are one of my favorite african bands of all time, and lo and behold…..
African music resonates with me like no other music and fills me with absolute joy….. A bottomless thanks to all those African musicians who have provided me with such happiness in the last 37 years…. I foresee that searching for my favorite tunes on YouTube might become an enormous and unavoidable time suck….
and Wuora Ogolla Adoyo, for now….