I hope your Memorial Day was a good one. I slept in, did some gardening, watched a classic old movie ("Forbidden Planet" with a pre-ironic Leslie Nielsen) and started a new piece of music.
It's unusual for me, but I started with the title this time - "Nairobi" (evocative, no? It might change.). Young musicians, especially the basses and 'cellos, love to drum on their instruments, so I thought I'd give them a chance to incorporate that into a new piece of music. This is an "advanced" piece, so the rhythms are a little more complex. The chin-fiddles will have a chance to do some drumming too, but the piece starts with the floor-fiddles.
For inspiration, I got out my old record player (ask your parents, kids) and put on one of my favorite recordings - "Zungo!" by Olatunji Babatunde, a West African singer/drummer. I soaked in the flavors of the album to give me a direction for the rhythm and the melodies and went to work. The first 16 measures sound pretty good and I think I'll have to include some call-and-response later in the piece. I'll keep you informed as progress is made!