I realised this week that there is a lot to learn. Wherever we are, there’s still more to come! I’m a Korababy, not yet a Koraqueen. But I’ll tell you who did play for the Queen. Mr Jali Sura Susso – not too shabby – with the whole smiling coast of Africa shining from his music. An unforgettable experience in the Eye Hospital atrium as people gathered from all corners to meet in the middle of this experience. A shackled prisoner, handcuffed to two prison guards sat and listened, smiling and moving as one. A film maker from the Medical Illustration department of the hospital was blown away by the sounds and the smile. The Director of LIME has been listening to the CD non stop since! The reactions were immensely beautiful. Thank you so much Sura. There were people today accosting me in the hospitals asking where they could get your CD. Please come back!

Anyway, enough about him! I had a lovely singalong today, firstly with a boxing instructor who sang Love me Tender with me at the Eye Hospital piano. Then an older chap who joined me for a medley including King of the Swingers, You are my sunshine, Raindrops keep falling on my head (we are in Manchester after all) and many more! Then the Brians joined us and did Hey Jude. An older lady from Birma was listening as she waited for her daughter and then came and had a chat about how her parents had wanted her to learn the piano and she was happy to hear one again. So many little snippets happened today and in the 3 other sessions I’ve done this week – 2 with the piano and 2 with the Kora which was beautifully received. Thanks to Brian C who suggested Summertime with the Kora which works a treat!

I’ve ordered a pick up from ‘Pick up the World’ this week for my performance at the Manchester International Festival. As Sid pointed out yesterday, Sura was getting an amazing sound off the amp – I reckon he has a good pick up in his pumpkin! Never a smite too shabby!

Playing at the British Museum tomorrow in the Africa Room near the Tree of Life made out of guns and the Pots of Clay. First Bani laay, reminding the affluent to be loyal. Then Tilliboyo (sunset) by Foday Musa Suso with Oliver Baily’s string quartet, first year students at the RNCM. There will be 200 student musicians and, ironically, I think I am one of the very few, if not only members of staff performing! I tried to tune my Kora up to A flat for the Suso piece but 6 strings broke so I went home to G and pleaded with the quartet! Good lads have transposed all their parts
down a semitone so we’re Tally Ho Boyo!

Can’t wait for tomorrow, albeit somewhat tiredly.

Korababy – going back to basics. Music goes back to basics. Rhythm, Harmony, Melody, Dynamics, Timbre. That’s what makes us who we are!




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