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Observing and Participating in Cultural Life
World Music CD of the Month

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The Participant Observer World Music CD of the Month is Dimanche Bamako by Amadou & Mariam

Amadou & Mariam are a musical duo from Mali, composed of the couple Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia. Both became blind at an early age and they first met at the Mali Institute for the Young Blind. There music consists mainly of guitar and vocals and while it has a distinct West African sound, the music fuses traditional Malian forms with contemporary rock music but they also integrate tradtional music forms from a wide range of other cultures. They fall into the category of "Afro-Blues". Dimanche Bamako (Sunday in Bamako)won the French Victoire de la Musique prize for best World Music album of the year. Bamako is the capital city of Mali. The duo has gone on to win many other world music awards and have released a total of eight music CD's, the most recent being La Confusion.

Editor's note: The August/September 2018 Worldview Project Bookclub selection was The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer. The book is set in Mali and recounts the heroic efforts of a group of dedicated followers to save thousands of ancient manuscripts from destruction by radical religionists. The book was also a previous Book of the Month Selection for this magazine. Malian musicians are mentioned throughout the book (particularly the group Tinariwen) and one book club member asked why music was so important to Malian society. The best answer is that while music is often played for entertainment, it can be much more than that. In Mali music is used to preserve their unique history and culture as well as reflect on contemporary conditions and deeply held sentiments in an environment where peoples very existence and lifeways have had to meet incredible challenges.

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