Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Kora, a Stringed Instrument from Senegal

Originally uploaded by ricklibrarian.
In the hall on Africa in the Field Museum is a video of a traditional musician playing a kora. In the video, he grips the two shorter spindles and plays the strings very quickly with his thumbs. The sound is incredible. I would like to find someone to play the kora at a library program.

Looking at our SWAN catalog, I find that there is a CD with Foday Musa Suso playing kora on Orion by Philip Glass, Toumani Diabate plays kora on a Ali Farka Toure CD called In the Heart of the Moon, Yakuba Sissokoh plays a kora on Rain of Blessings Vajra Chants, and Ravi plays the instrument on The African Kora Journey of the Sunwalker. I do not know any of this music, but I have placed some holds.

As slow and clunky as it is, our SWAN catalog is still an incredible tool. I remember how little we could do with old card catalogs.

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