Late Night Meditation

I’m a big fan of African music, especially the work of Ayub Ogada, Toumani Diabaté, and Ali Farka Touré. I used to play along with some of their tunes, picking out single melodic or harmonic lines on my guitar, learning the rhythms and harmonic patterns but not really understanding some of the underlying song structures. Occasionally I would use a sampler pedal and get a couple lines going at once but that was about as far as I got on my own. It was not until I heard Derek Gripper’s stunning guitar playing that I realized you could pull off a traditional African Kora piece with a fingerstyle guitar approach. In addition to being an amazing guitar player, Derek Gripper is also a very talented and inspiring teacher. I studied his transcriptions and notes on his arrangement of jarabi for guitar. It was late at night in Portland and I was locking into a rhythm derived from that piece when I started improvising what would eventually become Late Night Meditation.

All of the percussive sounds on this piece were taken from a set of field recordings I made in the forest around my house.