SK Kakraba SONGS OF PAAPIEYE
$5.40 – $18.00
*LP includes digital download
Solo xylophone from Northern Ghana! Traditional music by a gyil master.
Songs of Paapieye
SK Kakraba is master of the gyil, a Ghanaian xylophone made of 14 wooden slats strung across calabash gourd resonators. The buzzy rattle emitted with each note comes from the silk walls of spiders’ egg sacs stretched across holes in the gourds, called paapieye in Lobi language. The gyil’s earthy sound can be heard in parts of Upper West and Northern Regions of Ghana, as well as Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and beyond, where it goes by other names.
The characteristic buzzing timbre might sound odd to foreign ears. But this distortion is just one of the beautifying sensibilities crucial to SK’s gyil music, which he learned as a child from elders in his Lobi community in the far northwest reaches of Ghana. It’s the national instrument of the Lobi people.
Cassette – $8, CD – $9, LP – $18