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Pieces of Africa
     

Pieces of Africa

by Kronos Quartet
 
When released, Pieces of Africa was subject to some of the same "cultural imperialist" criticism that had been more successfully leveled at performers like David Byrne and Paul Simon. The album consists of commissions from African composers working at varying distances from European conventions. But whereas Byrne and Simon arguably used the music of Brazil or

Overview

When released, Pieces of Africa was subject to some of the same "cultural imperialist" criticism that had been more successfully leveled at performers like David Byrne and Paul Simon. The album consists of commissions from African composers working at varying distances from European conventions. But whereas Byrne and Simon arguably used the music of Brazil or South Africa as backgrounds over which to display their own egos, the Kronos Quartet's members managed to sublimate themselves in service to the compositions, never giving the listener any sense of condescension. All of which is to say that Pieces of Africa is a very beautiful recording with several superb individual works. Zimbabwe's Dumisani Maraire's opening piece, "Mai Nozipo," with the composer accompanying the quartet on drums, is a rousing, triumphant anthem with a resonant melodic line that will long linger. Thematically, most of the pieces draw on African sources, very clearly in the case of the Arabic-infused songs of Hassan Hakmoun and the great Sudanese composer Hamza el Din. Unsurprisingly, South African Kevin Volan's "White Man Sleeps" comes closest to European traditions, though even this piece, which is gorgeous and inspired throughout, draws inspiration from native environmental sounds. The disc closes with another composition by Maraire, with an accompanying gospel choir making explicit the link between Africa's music and that of the American South. Pieces of Africa teems with beguiling melodies, making it one of this quartet's more accessible projects and also one of its best.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/03/1992
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597927528
catalogNumber:
79275
Rank:
110774

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kronos Quartet   Primary Artist,Vocals,Ensemble,String Quartet,Akete
Hamza el Din   Taragat
Foday Musa Suso   Kora
Obo Addy   Percussion,Vocals,Akete,Brekete,Donno,Gidi,Pretia
Dumisani Maraire   Percussion,Vocals,Hosho,Mbira,Ngoma,Mbiri
Hassan Hakmoun   Sitar,Vocals,Sintir
Ephat Mujuru   Vocals,Mbira
Hank Dutt   Viola,Vocals,Akete
Said Hakmoun   Vocals,Bendir,Bandero
David Harrington   Violin,Vocals,Akete
Joan Jeanrenaud   Cello,Vocals,Akete
Terrance Kelly   Choir Master
John Sherba   Violin,Vocals,Akete
Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir   Choir, Chorus,Ensemble
Radouane Laktib   Vocals,Oud
Terrence Kelly   Conductor
Dan Pauli   Hosho

Technical Credits

Kronos Quartet   Producer,Contributor
Obo Addy   Contributor
Dumisani Maraire   Contributor
Chris Baum   Producer
Bob Edwards   Engineer
Said Hakmoun   Contributor
Richard Horowitz   Producer
Robert Hurwitz   Executive Producer
Judith Sherman   Producer,Engineer
Itaal Shur   Producer
Paul Zinman   Engineer
Ken Hunt   Liner Notes,Interviewer
Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir   Contributor
Tohru Ueda   Producer

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