About the Music

Orchestra Gold is influenced primarily by the big band era of Malian music, kicked off by Independence from France in 1961. This era saw a cultural renaissance of music, as old folkloric music that had been around for hundreds of years began to be reinterpreted by musicians on instruments such as guitar, bass, drums and horns. Government support by Modibo Keita helped aid and abet this process by providing funds to different regions, and groups of musicians that were interested in showcasing the unique sound of their area and culture. This era been called the “Golden Era” of Malian, and West African music.

Across all music of this era, whether in Africa, Latin-America or the United States, there existed a distinct aesthetic approach to music of this time period which we call “oldstyle”. Music of this period was simpler, analog, stripped-down, raw and hit you square in the chest. With the advent of the digital age, technician-ship and virtuosity have become more prized musical elements. However, before the digital age, there was more of an emphasis placed on songwriting, and the performance of the ensemble. Orchestra Gold seeks to embody these influences and approach to the recreation of music from that golden age.

See our Resources page for other perspectives & information on these same influences.