Open End with Frosty

Songs for Mami Wata

120 minsFirst aired 8 Oct 2018
Artwork by Jesse Moretti

Composer Craig Leon gives a musical offering to the water spirit and traces how her fluid form transforms across the face of the earth.

Craig Leon has helped mold some of the most progressive music that’s emerged on Earth and also a few titles born beyond. As an A&R visionary at Sire Records in the 1970s, Leon helped launch Talking Heads, the Ramones and Blondie into the stratosphere. He co-produced Suicide’s debut album, which is one of the most vicious rock and roll dreams to have ever materialized from the stardust. Beyond the more than 150 pop and rock albums he produced, Leon has added his touch to some of the finest classical recordings. His own solo albums are the titles whose origins can be traced to outer star systems: 1981’s Nommos is a work of speculative fiction tied to the astral beings who, legend has it, transmitted their deep space wisdom to Mali’s Dogon people. On this episode of Open End, Leon straddles the line of myth and reality to pay tribute to Mami Wata, the water goddess of African origin with believers across the diaspora, via a selection of celebratory music. Her form has shape-shifted with migration, but the spirit remains the same. Frosty also showers praise by opening the show with some water-themed songs.


Produced by Mark “Frosty” McNeill and Jordan Rothlein
Engineered by Joe Hazan

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