SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

'One night on earth' the kora and the guitar

Derek Gripper

Date: 18 March 2014Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 18 March 2014Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G52

Type of Event: Seminar

Derek Gripper, outstanding classically trained guitarist from South Africa, has spent several years immersing himself in the music of Malian kora players such as Toumani Diabate. Using a specially designed guitar, he painstakingly recreates the styles, techniques and repertoires of the kora in his album ‘One Night on Earth’, which he considers a homage to the great musicians of Mali. Released in 2012, it was a Top of the World selection of Songlines magazine, and the reviewer wrote: 'recorded in a single all-night session, Gripper's playing has a depthless beauty, which does full justice to the complexity of Toumani’s compositions. To do so without any hint of the music being dumbed down is a staggering achievement on solo guitar, given that the kora’s 21 strings enable the player to perform bass lines, harmonic accompaniment and melodic lines simultaneously.' In the seminar, Derek Gripper will talk about his process of adapting kora music on to guitar, and illustrate with live performance.

Organiser: Nick Gray

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