Grandmaster Masese - The Music Will Not Die book
Book of conversations between Grandmaster Masese and Pete Larson on music, the obokano, and the history and future of music.
112 pages, trade paperback, illustrated.
Grandmaster Masese is one of only a handful of living practitioners of the obokano, the unique eight stringed lyre of the Gusii people of Western Kenya (Africa). The obokano is notable not only for its massive size, but also for its unique bass heavy, rhythmic buzz filled sound. Its trance inducing sounds are unforgettable.
Masese himself is a seasoned musician, a dedicated human rights advocate, teacher, author and scholar based in Nairobi, Kenya. Masese’s commitment to his music and his enthusiasm to bring its sounds to the rest of the world inspired this collection of his songs. Rather than simply present an ethno-musicological presentation of traditional obokano music, he opted to create as unique a work as possible.
I first ran into Masese in a club in Nairobi, where I saw him playing this giant bowl shaped lyre and heard him producing some of the most unique musical sounds I had ever experienced. It didn’t take me long to approach him about a possible collaboration. My label, Dagoretti Records, put out a single in 2019 which brought the attention of numerous alt-music luminaries including Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt, who featured it on a must listen list on the Bandcamp Daily.
- Pete Larson