Escalay (“Waterwheel”) – Kronos Quartet
“Pieces from Africa” is an album by the Kronos Quartet, a renowned string quartet known for their innovative and eclectic approach to contemporary classical music. The album was released in 1992 and features compositions by various African composers.
The album includes 14 tracks, each one showcasing a different African style or musical tradition. Some of the tracks are traditional African melodies arranged for string quartet, while others are more contemporary pieces that blend elements of African music with Western classical music.
One of the standout tracks on the album is “Ekitundu Ekisooka” by Ugandan composer Justinian Tamusuza. This piece features intricate polyrhythms and call-and-response patterns that are characteristic of traditional Ugandan music. Another memorable track is “Sangara” by Zimbabwean composer Dumisani Maraire, which combines the sounds of the mbira (a traditional African thumb piano) with the string quartet.
Throughout the album, the Kronos Quartet demonstrates their versatility and skill in adapting to a wide range of musical styles and traditions. “Pieces from Africa” is a testament to the richness and diversity of African music, and a celebration of the creative possibilities that arise when different musical cultures intersect.