Tinariwen, “Sastanàqqàm”

Tinariwen (10:1), “Sastanàqqàm ( I Question You )“, from the Album “Elwan”, 2017

A thousand miles from their homeland in northern Mali, across a vast expanse of desert, the music of Tinariwen has found shelter in the hearts of six young musicians from M’hamid el Ghizlane. They were only boys when the desert rockers first visited their home, back in 2006, but they saw an immediate reflection of their own dreams and aspirations in the music they heard. In the years that followed they learned the Tinariwen songbook note for note, word for word, even though they couldn’t speak a word of Tamashek, the language of the Touareg.

“Ténéré, can you tell me of anything better
Than to have your friends and your mount,
And a brand new goatskin, watertight,
To find your way by the light
Of the four bright stars of heaven.”