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Sunday, 31 March, 2002, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Mali Music: Your views
Malian musicians jamming with Damon Albarn
Albarn first went out to Mali with Oxfam
Damon Albarn is well known as the frontman of pop band Blur and as the face behind cartoon group Gorillaz.

His new project, an exploration of music from Mali, took him further a field and culminated in a new album and a gig at London's Barbican centre with Afel Bocoum.

"This musical experiment was a measured success. The fusion pieces sounded good, but the Africans seemed musically hemmed-in. It was when they were given free rein to perform that the Barbican came alive and enthused the crowd," wrote the BBC's Michael Osborn.

"Hats off to Albarn for championing the rich bounty of Malian music - but next time I will seek it out without his assistance," he added.

But what do you think?

Will it succeed in bringing West African music to a new audience? What do you think of Damon's musical contribution?


It was great. I didn't have the best seat (right at the end of the front row), but considering the short rehearsal time it was good, and the final song was marvellous. However, the after concert session by the blind Malian couple was sensational.
Christopher Mahon, United Kingdom

The two different styles of music worked really well together

Mark, UK
It's great to see top musicians from different cultures connecting through music. Those who suggest Malian music, with all its ancient traditions, is somehow threatened by one British musician collaborating with them, are patronising to the Malians. This project has drawn lots of attention to the problems of the Malians, the beauty of their music, and raised a lot of money for Oxfam.
Jessica, Wales

I think its a good idea but not as good as his Gorillaz idea
Emilee, England

I think it helped to have Damon's input - the two different styles of music worked really well together. The Barbican gig introduced world music to a wider audience because of Damon Albarn's presence.
Mark, UK

At the moment the British music industry is a joke (just take a look at the charts, nothing personal Gareth and Will but what more of an example of utter mush do we need).

All I can say is thank God for someone like Damon Albarn who proves we still have the ability to try new methods, experiment with new musicians around the world and produce great music for the masses.
Steve, UK

I think it's a cool thing. Damon likes to do various thing beside being a singer for Blur. And I hope he doesn't take himself too seriously as well.
Christian, Sweden

Damon is a great guy. I'm a huge fan of Blur. It's great that his solo projects are so successful, hopefully this Mali Project will be.
Gemma Mitchell, UK

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Mali Music on BBC Radio 4's Today
"His new album is as far removed from the pop world as can be"
See also:

28 Mar 02 | Reviews
Mali music leaves Albarn behind
23 Mar 01 | Reviews
Gorillaz pull it off
19 Feb 02 | Film
Gorillaz to make film debut
25 Feb 02 | Country profiles
Country profile: Mali
25 Feb 02 | Africa
Timeline: Mali
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