Sounds of the Saharan Desert
 More of this Feature
• Tinariwen: Part One
• Tinariwen: Part Two
• Tinariwen: Part Three
• Tinariwen: Part Four
• Tinariwen: Part Five
  Related Resources
• Africa
 Elsewhere on the Web
• Tinariwen (official site)

IWM: You incorporate the ancient Tifinagh script of the Tamasheq language on your album covers. Can we expect liner notes in future albums to include lyrical translations using the Tifinagh script?

T: Maybe…it would be useful to have an equivalent of our Tamashek lyrics written in the European alphabet, so that people can follow the words.

IWM: I noticed your music on a couple of compilation albums, including, most recently, Putumayo's Mali release and the Festival In The Desert DVDs and CDs. Are you going to come out with a DVD featuring the group exclusively, or even a book detailing your musical experiences and your life struggles?

T: Yes, there are plans for a film and a book, but they’re only at a very early stage right now, so we can’t talk about them too much.

IWM: Can we expect a third album in the near future?

T: Yes, we’re hoping In Sh'Allah (God-willing) to go into the studio in January or February of next to record our next album. We hope to work with Justin Adams on it. It should be very very good.

IWM: You seem to be setting a standard in the contemporary music of Saharan, Africa. Do you feel like you are standing alone, or do other Saharan music groups support and relate to your musical direction and content?

T: Tinariwen were the first to play the guitar style, and we’ve been together the longest, so in a way we do stand alone. But there are other groups who have now taken up this style and are doing their own thing with it which is very good. I can mention Tarbiat or Tidawt or even parts of what Tartit Ensemble do. We know these groups well. They’re friends. Everyone learns from each other, and if possible, helps each other.

Article © 2005 Matthew J. Forss

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