There are lions and oribi roaming through the savannah during the opening mystery of this song. Dark birds of prey follow their movements.
Mike Gilmore, Nick Ashton and Mike Johnston create a percussive landscape filled with shadow and flashes of light. The flutes of Faruq Z. Bey and Mike Carey begin the journey like winds over the tall grasses and rolling hills, heading toward the volatile waters of Lake Kivu.
When the bass of Johnston thunders into being, you are moving across the surface of the lake, feeling each crest and trough of the blue-black waves of Kivu. The flutes are now calling the barefoot fishermen to dance, dreaming of barbel, catfish and tilapia.
The Tenor Sax of Bey first, and then Skeeter Shelton, pull you into two worlds: you’re still on that deep and dangerous African lake, but at the same time, you are now viewing the streets of Detroit from the backseat of a slow-moving Buick. It’s late summer and the windows are rolled down. The tires hiss and the streetlights flash across your face.
Gilmore’s marimba solo brings you back to that Rwandan plain. Though now you are the lion, stalking the oribi. The saxes come back in, this time with Carey joining the drive and leading the expedition.
Finally, your are returned to the opening mystery. The bass and percussion dissolve the water and land into ethereal winds, and those dark raptors rise in widening circles until they disappear into the silence.
[Faruq Z. Bey & the Northwoods Improvisers Website]
An excerpt of this song is featured in the book trailer for The Moon Cracks Open: