Muzungu is a set of original compositions which illustrate Africa and more particularly central Africa. This CD was conceived over a rather long period : 'The Soaring Hawk' was written in 1985 whereas more recent pieces like 'Sicap Amitié' are very recent. If it took such a long time to finalize this CD it is because I had made the choice to privilege work with other musicians, but also because I was dissatisfied with my guitar-playing especially in Congolese tracks. Furthermore this style of music being non-profitable I had to find the financial means to finance it without expecting any returns.
Muzungu means "the white man" in Swahili, the most spoken language in eastern Africa. It is music that is inspired by Africa but seen by an European.
I drew on traditional African music but I added to it many elements coming from jazz , European folk music eand even classical music.
The African influence is most noticeable in the rhythm of the pieces, with each track having a different rhythm which is easily identifiable by anyone familiar with this culture. My guitar-playing is also very much inspired by the various types of African urban music.
The choice of instruments such as sax, trombone, piano is clearly jazz-oriented as well as the way in which the themes are being played and improvisations are being carried out.
The 'european music' contribution lies in the general conception of the pieces with a very strict musical writing including several musical layers , variations in musical colours and developments of themes in several variations.
All these elements are present in variable proportions in the various tracks but still hopefully form a coherent set.