They’re true daughters of the dust. (Check the fantastic film by Julie Dash that inspired Beyonce on her latest album, «Lemonade».) That’s where their entirely acoustic, naturally, album «Les Filles de Illighadad» (2016) was recorded, with the nurturing help of the label Sahel Sounds. It was recorded outdoors in blinding light under a tree in which big white egrets were part of her audience. In a village that is surrounded by thousand of goats and the chorus of millions of crickets. It’s a place where dogs can take naps in the middle of the street. Where natural sounds abound, wafting in from the surrounding Sahel desert and it’s where they’re joined by human noises, some feminine and bewitching. And where Fatou converts them into music that celebrates the stillness of pauses before moving on to sequences that are not without power in their rhythmic pulsations. She sings in a soft but distinct voice, the way she supports her words with her guitar was preceded by playing the Tende, the stretched water drum actually fabricated from a mortar. There’s only one other woman guitar player in all of Niger.
She’s immensely popular in her village and the people showed up en masse when she recorded the songs you’ll hear tonight. Make sure you do the same.
Philip Glass studied the musical traditions from Brazil to Mexico, from Africa and India and everywhere in between. Once, early in his career, he carried a transistor radio (remember those?) as he travelled overland from Europe to India, tuning into local stations and hearing the
music gradually change. You don’t have to go that far, El Lokal is closer. And always open to you.