Press Release

Tate Modern, Africa Express and The Space present Terry Riley’s In C Mali

Tate Modern, Africa Express and The Space present Terry Riley’s In C Mali

Africa Express performance at Tate Modern

Africa Express performance at Tate Modern 
Photo © Alexey Moskvin/Tate

An interactive film online at from 28 November 2014

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@tate #InCMali

Tate Modern, Africa Express and The Space celebrate the 50th anniversary of Terry Riley’s world-renowned composition In C with the launch of an interactive online film. In C is often cited as the first minimalist composition and minimalist art and music come together in the film, Tate Modern and Africa Express present Terry Riley’s In C Mali, released on 28 November at

The film features musicians brought together by Africa Express, led by classical conductor André de Ridder, performing Terry Riley’sIn C Mali, new interpretation pioneering work, live at Tate Modern with an African orchestra that includes three balafons, three koras, ngoni, kalimbas, three percussionists with talking drum, calabash, sabar drums, alongside guitar, bass, violin, delta harp and beats by Mouse on Mars. The film performance will be intercut with iconic minimalist art works from the Tate Collection by Donald Judd, Josef Albers and Frank Stella; as well as footage of Africa Express and de Ridder in Bamako, Mali where the first African version of this minimalist classic was recorded with the cream of new contemporary Malian musicians.

The live performance at Tate Modern was captured by multiple cameras in order to create a multi-layered interactive film that takes advantage of the latest digital technologies, using the Interlude video platform. Viewers will be able to select camera angles and to isolate individual performers and focus on the notes played by particular instruments, from kora to balafon. The interactive technology also allows navigation through the art at Tate Modern. The viewer can select and focus on individual minimalist artworks as the cameras roam the galleries at night.

Jane Burton, Creative Director, Tate said: “Pioneering minimalist music and iconic minimalist art come together by way of Africa in this interactive film. It’s a mesmerising mix. This is the first time that Tate has created a film that allows viewers to choose different pathways through footage to create their own unique experience. We are delighted to have worked with The Space and Africa Express to reimagine what it is to watch a performance or to explore a gallery.”

Ian Birrell, Co Founder, Africa Express said: “Africa Express is delighted to collaborate with two such creative forces to produce the first live performance of Africa Express’s version of Terry Riley’s In C. This recording with André de Ridder grew out of our trip to Bamako in 2013, working with so many brilliant musicians, and it is great that people can enjoy the magic of the performance at Tate as well as a new album featuring the original recordings from Mali.”

Ruth Mackenzie, CBE, Launch CEO and Creative Director, The Space said “Tate and Africa Express are two of my favourite partners - daring, surprising, always taking risks, always excellent, always exploring new ground - I am sure we can expect the unexpected.”

Tate Modern and Africa Express present Terry Riley’s In C Mali is released online on 28 November at The Space

An album, Africa Express Presents… Terry’s Riley’s In C Mali, produced by André de Ridder, was recorded in Bamako, Mali last year featuring emerging Malian artists including Adama Koita, Bijou and Cheick Diallo, alongside Africa Express stalwarts Damon Albarn, Brian Eno and Nick Zinner and will be released by Transgressive Records on digital formats on 24 November, with a CD and limited edition vinyl following on 26 January 2015.

Editor notes

1.         Terry Riley will celebrate his 80th Birthday in 2015 and continues to be an active conductor. His most recent large-scale piece is an organ concerto, At the Royal Majestic which was premiered earlier this year.


2.         Africa Express
Hailed as a revolutionary force in popular music, Africa Express brings together musicians from different cultures, genres and generations to break boundaries and offer new perspectives. It has produced a series of extraordinary live shows since its first public performance with a now legendary five-hour set at Glastonbury 2007. Since then Africa Express have played collaborative gigs for up to 50,000 people in the UK, France, Spain and Nigeria, as well as taking a train tour around Britain as part of the 2010 London Olympic festivities, releasing three records and hosting musicians on trips to Mali, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo. Each event is unique, based upon on-the-spot collaboration and filled with one-off moments of magic.


3.                  The Space is a website for artists and audiences to create and explore new digital art. They commission new talent and great artists from all art forms, creative industries, technical and digital backgrounds, through regular Open Calls and partnerships. Set up by the BBC and the Arts Council England, The Space is a not-for-profit public service for artists and audiences around the world. You can view it at

4.                  The full list of Africa Express performers is:


Aly Keita – Balafon

Andi Toma (Mouse on Mars) - DJ/Samples

André de Ridder - Violin/MD

Baba Galle - flute

Bao Sissoko – Kora

Damon Albarn - Melodica

Diabel Cissokho – Kora

Djelifily Sako - Kora

Jeff Wootton – Guitar

Kaw Secka - Talking Drum

Lansiné Kouyaté - Balafon

Mamadou Sarr – Percussion

Mamani Keita – Vocal

Malick Pathé Sow - Ngoni

Marlies van Gangelen - Delta Harp/Kalimba

Mosi Condé – Balafon

Musa Mboob – Percussion

Nick Zinner – Guitar