Friday, January 22, 2016

Political Science: Amadou & Mariam with "Polotic Amagni (La Politique, C'est Pas Bon)"

The random tune for today is by blind Malian duo Amadou & Mariam. Vocalist Mariam Doumbia lost her sight at age 5 due to untreated measles, while guitarist and vocalist Amadou Bagayoko lost his sight at age 15. They met at Mali's Institute for the Young Blind, and discovered that they had similar interests in music. Their music has developed from early sparse recordings consisting of guitar and vocals to a mix of traditional Malian sounds combined with rock guitars, Syrian violins, Cuban trumpets, Egyptian ney, Indian tablas and Dogon percussion. This style has been dubbed "Afro-blues." This song, Politic Amagni (La Politique, C'est Pas Bon), appears on their 2005 CD Dimanche à Bamako (Sunday in Bamako), which was produced by world and Latin music star Manu Chao. The song translated to English appears to decry the bad things found in politics, such as violence, ignorance, lies and force.