Wed, 17. 2. 2010 - 19:30
Palác Akropolis

Nothing is more evocative of the fascinating expanses of the Sahara desert than the music of Tartit, a Tuareg band consisting of five women and four men residing in the Timbuktu region.

Tartit play hypnotic, trance-inducing music: the women sit down, sing, and play cyclic rhythms on the traditional instruments, imzad and tinde drums, while the men sing and play string instruments, acoustic and electric. Chants and percussive handclaps are added to these instruments. The result is a sort of desert blues.

Most of Tartit's songs are simply structured. But their music bears also a social aspects. The men are veiled, the women aren't. Tuareg society is one of the few throughout Africa in which women are allowed to choose (and divorce) their husbands.

The band was formed in a refugee camp in Burkina Faso, during the Tuareg uprising in the early '90s. Their music was a means of survival in the face of the economic, social and political difficulties of the region.

Tartit released their first album, titled Amazagh, in 1997. They became better-known with the release of their second album, Ichchila, recorded in 2000. More recently, the group released their third album, Abacabok.

Tartit's compositions include ballads and call-and-response. Their lyrics are expressions of hope, peace and expose the power of life.

To contribute actively to the development of their region, the band also formed a United Nations-recognized association dedicated to preserving and raising awareness of Malian music and culture. The association, likewise, develops schools for children and economic opportunities for women.