Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Korean Alan Lomax

Well things continue at a hair-raising speed here: since last time I have made a lightning visit to Bamako where I met the documentary team. The journey back to Djenné yesterday was made in the comfort of their air conditioned 4X4, in sharp contrast to the journey down which was made on the Djenné bus with all its associated hardships. This time however, it was a comfort to travel with a great Korean couple who had stayed one night at the hotel.
The man turned out to be something of a Korean national treasure according to his wife Kyunga. He was called Mr. Sangil Choi and just like the legendary American scholar  Alan Lomax who travelled and recorded American folk music in the forties and fifties building up a sound archive now housed at the Library of Congress, Mr Choi had spent his life recording Korean folk music. He and his wife were now travelling in Africa, always using public transport and looking for music, slowly winding their way up to Morocco through Mauritania. I reflected how many such extraordinary people I have been fortunate to meet  during the time of the hotel.


Blogger Tabor said...

Those who live at the edge of things do get to meet the adventurers.

6:15 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Indeed Tabor. And the adventures continue here with an unprecedented influx of hotel guests- we were nearly full last night and tonight we are too, with a group I am not allowed to name, escorted by a group of Malian soldiers...it almost makes me think it is worth staying here!

1:25 PM  
Blogger David said...

Discretion? You must be unwell...

11:19 AM  

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