SONG: Rocket Africa


“Rocket Africa.” [Download]
(To download: double right-click & “Save As”)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Based on “One man’s mission to put Ugandans in space”, CNN, 4 Oct 2011, as used in the post “From your back yard to outer space. (With you on board!)”.

ABSTRACT: I thought the African Space Research Program really needed an anthem. So here’s what I’m hoping. Somehow, someone connected with the program will hear this… or hear *of* it, at least… and think, “No. God, no, this isn’t how that should sound. THIS is how that should sound.” And that THIS will be awesome, and the world will be better for that THIS to have come into being.

I’d like to have that happen. When you listen to this, think of that THIS.

What went into recording my demo-slash-inspiration for that THIS: polyrhythms, a wine bottle, a life spent listening to African jazz and Afro-pop, a lot of wishful thinking, a Mexican percussion instrument I don’t know the name of, a lot of recording vocals in my car sitting in various ballet theater parking lots (it’s Nutcracker season!), a SoundFont horn section, more wishful thinking, a thumb piano, and a lot of stolen time.

Oh, and this is a mulela tree. It’s also called a “fever tree” and seems like the kind of tree the moon might get caught in. And the third verse is referring to this folk tale, about a little girl who created the Milky Way by stirring a fire with a stick and sending the sparks up, up, up until they got caught in the sky.

1 Comment

  1. A note from my uncle, to help my memory – too late for recording, but if there’s ever a remix or something:

    Here’s the best I could do: the words mean ‘from my mother’s garden to the stars’, but you can think of the garden as being in the back yard:
    ‘Insimu kamama ne inkanyezi’, where the sense is something like seeing from my mother’s back garden to the stars.

    That’s Zulu, which isn’t actually spoken in Uganda, but is a Bantu language similar to one of Uganda’s languages.

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