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Songs of Paapieye

LP (12" album, 33 rpm)


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Vinyl, October 16, 2015
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Editorial Reviews

SK Kakraba is master of the gyil, Ghanaian xylophone made of 14 wooden slats strung across calabash gourd resonators. The buzzy rattle emitted with each note comes from the silk walls of spiders’ egg sacs stretched across holes in the gourds, called paapieye in Lobi language. The gyil’s earthy sound can be heard in parts of Upper West and Northern Regions of Ghana, as well as Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and beyond, where it goes by other names. The characteristic buzzing timbre might sound odd to foreign ears. But this distortion is just one of the beautifying sensibilities crucial to SK’s gyil music, which he learned as a child from elders in his Lobi community in the far northwest reaches of Ghana. Although the gyil is sometimes played in pairs and with drum and bell, SK lives in Los Angeles these days and plays alone quite often. Songs of Paapieye surveys a deliberate snapshot of SK’s hereditary Lobi repertoire heard through the lens of a stripped-down, and sometimes spare-sounding, solo gyil. The album focuses on a selection of SK’s favorite song cycles, funeral dirges, improvised interpretations on traditional songs and original compositions—and combinations thereof.

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Product details

  • Vinyl (October 16, 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Awesome Tapes From Africa
  • ASIN: B013LB2M2S
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #641,544 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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