Tinariwen is a northern Mali-based band with a newly animated music video clip for their song Ténéré Tàqqàl. The song translates into What Has Become of the Ténéré, where Ténéré is a Tamashek word meaning empty land or desert.
The video was directed by French animation artist Axel Digoix and produced by Pilule et Pigeon. It is set in the Sahara Desert and opens with a scene of a camel carrying speakers, instruments, and tea, and a truck racing across the sand. The vivid colors and small details, such as the sand in the truck headlights and the camel’s movements with its slow and steady pace to the beat of the music, make it a joy to watch.
Tinariwen is a Grammy Award-winning band that formed in 1979. The group of Tuareg musicians is from northern Mali in the Sahara Desert region. They compose songs about issues facing the Tuareg people.
The sounds the band produces are a combination of traditional Tuareg melodies and rhythms adapted to a Western guitar. The band also uses a one string violin called a izmad, a tindé drum, which is traditionally played by women at festive occasions, and a teherdent lute, which is played by the Griot people of the Gao and Timbuktu regions north of Mali.
Here is the English translation of the lyrics to the song:
What has become of the Ténéré
The Ténéré has become an upland of thorns
Where elephants fight each other
Crushing tender grass under foot
The gazelles have found refuge high in the mountains
The birds no longer return to their nests at night
The camps have all fled
You can read the bitterness on the faces of the innocents
During this difficult and bruising time
In which all solidarity has gone
The strongest impose their will
And leave the weakest behind
Many have died battling for twisted ends.
And joy has abandoned us
Exhausted by all this duplicity
Subscribe to our weekly email