This album is simply titled "Na Hawa Doumbia". I don't have much information about it. I appreciate the simplicity of the recording; a beautifully powerful voice woven over intricate guitar, played by (I assume) Na Hawa's husband N'Gou Bagayoko. As calm as the music is, there also exists a sense of urgency that is inherent to the phrasing of both vocals and instrumentation--lots of stuccato, syllabic sounds.
To me this is another example of Malian music that characterizes the landscape beyond the Sotramas, taxis, and Jakartas that maintain the hum of very lively city centers. Together, the music with the white noise and atmosphere left between the guitar notes and singing creates a soundtrack for a lonely expanse of red-rock grit, low harsh shrubs, dust, and thoughtful introspection that I think characterizes a certain aspect of Malian culture, which I respect greatly; that when conversation has come to a pause, tea is bubbling and the top of the small blue kettle clinks with each puff of steam, donkey's wander, the wind kicks up dust and an occasional cross-country traveller speeds by on a dirt bike cutting the silence, his head wrapped and an outdated shot-gun strapped across his shoulders.
In Yanfolila this cassette (from an artist raised in Bougouni, not too far away) would be perfect for the downtime in the heat after lunch, before the sun starts to turn an evening gold and thick black plumes of smoke waft through the air as women prepare for dinner. Being here, I enjoy listening towards the end of the night when I take stock of the day and anticipate tomorrow.
For another great Na Hawa Doumbia cassette and video visit here, courtesy of the infinitely entertaining and informative World Service station. Nahawa released another cassette recently, or perhaps she only accompanied her daughter for a song on her new cassette. Doussou Bagayoko will be the subject of future posts. A ka nyi kosebe!