Tag Archives: Les Filles de Illighadad

Boston University Announces Second Annual Bu Global Music Festival

Boston University has announced the second annual BU Global Music Festival to be held October 4th and 5th, 2019 on the Boston University Charles River Campus. The festival will be free, open to the public and is intended for all ages.

The festival will include traditional and contemporary international musicians, as well as local world music artists.

Les Filles de Illighadad

The lineup includes Les Filles de Illighadad (Niger) who will bring to the festival the music of rural Niger called “tende” featuring compositions built from vocals, handclaps, and percussion; 47Soul (Palestine/UK) celebrated for inventing their own genre Shamstep, which fuses dub synth sounds with rock elements, hip-hop and pop lyrics in English and Arabic.

Also featured: Gamelan Cudamani (Bali, Indonesia) known for their outstanding creativity; Frontera Bugalú (Mexico/Texas) who perform a combination of high-energy “cumbia” mixed with other traditional Mexican and Latin American rhythms.

Saraswathi Ranganathan (India/US) will treat festival goers to a diverse presentation of the ancient veena; and Congolese band KOKOKO! (Democratic Republic of Congo), known for building their own instruments and blending Congolese and modern music.

Local artists Grooversity (Boston/Brazil) and Eastern Medicine Singers (Algonquin, Rhode Island) will also perform.

The festival is produced by the BU Arts Initiative – Office of the Provost and the College of Fine Arts Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology through the Karbank Fund for Global Music. Musician and BU ethnomusicologist Marié Abe continues to serve as artistic director. Additional support comes from BU Global Programs, BU College of Fine Arts, and BU Dean of Students’ Office, the New England and American Studies Program. WBUR will serve as a media sponsor.

Saraswathi Ranganathan

“BU is very proud to host this festival and to welcome so many talented artists from around the world. Such events have transformative power. They expose us to different experiences, perspectives, and artistic expressions, while helping to break down barriers and bring us closer together,” said Jean Morrison, Provost and Chief Academic Officer of the University.

 “The BU Global Music Festival creates community and inspires greater understanding and respect through our shared passion for music and the performing arts,” expressed Harvey Young, Dean of the College of Fine Arts.

In addition to workshops and demonstrations offered to the public during the festival, this year, the BU Global Music Festival and BU Music Education Department have developed a new opportunity with the Boston Public Schools Office of the Arts, which will connect Boston’s music educators with visiting international musicians for a professional development credit in global music.

“The Boston University Music Education Department and students are excited to partner with Boston Public School music educators for a collaborative professional development opportunity centered around the world music traditions represented at this year’s Global Music Festival,” said Tawnya Smith, BU Assistant Professor in Music Education and member of the BU Provost’s Arts Council.

In addition to music, the Global Bazaar featuring artisan goods for purchase from international and immigrant communities continues this year. On Saturday afternoon guests can also take part in a Cultural Vendor Fair where they can peruse more than a dozen regional cultural and ethnic organizations that offer arts related programming throughout the year.

More information at www.bu.edu/gmf/ and www.bu.edu/arts

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Artist Profiles: Les Filles de Illighadad

Les Filles de Illighadad

Tuareg act Les Filles de Illighadad comes from an isolated village in central Niger, in the outback deserts at the edge of the Sahara. The camp is only reachable through a difficult drive through the open desert and there is little infrastructure, no electricity or running water. The surrounding countryside supports hundreds of herders, living with and among their farm animals, as their families have done for centuries.

The music performed by Les Filles de Illighadad known as tende comes from a drum built from a goat skin stretched across a mortar and pestle. Tende music is developed from a few elements: vocals, handclaps, and percussion. Songs talk about the village, of love, and celebrate ancestors. It’s a musical form directed by women. Tende is a tradition for all the young girls, performed during celebrations and to pass the time at nighttime during the rainy season.

Fatou Seidi Ghali, lead vocalist and instrumentalist of Les Filles de Illighadad is one of the few Tuareg female guitarists in Niger. Using her older brother’s guitar, she taught herself to play. While Fatou’s position as the first female Tuareg guitarist is revolutionary, it is just as interesting for her musical direction. In a place where gender norms have generated two different types of music, Fatou and Les Filles de Illighadad are reaffirming the role of tende in Tuareg guitar.

Instead of the jembe or the drum set, Les Filles de Illighadad feature the traditional drum and the pounding calabash, half buried in water.

Discography:

Les Filles de Illighadad, Fatou Seidi Ghali & Alamnou Akrouni (Sahel Sounds, 2016)
Eghass Malan (Sahel Sounds, 2017)

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