Album of the Week: Nyokabi Kariũki | peace places: kenyan memories

Kenyan composer and multi-instrumentalist Nyokabi Kariũki could not return to her home in Kenya due to the pandemic, so she recalled special places and set them to sound.

peace places: kenyan memories, released on SA Recordings, is a beautiful dreamy record of Kariũki’s memories, and she describes her form of synesthesia—”When I see a colour, I hear a certain sound.”—which makes her memories that much more vivid.

Kariũki plays Kalimbas, Mbira, Piano and Gyil in addition to vocals which she sings in English, Kiswahili, Kikuyu, and Maa, and she’s joined by Chris O’Leary on drums and vibraphone on a few tracks.

To my ears, this music sounds haunted, hovering between memory and dreams, loss and hope, but its beauty transcends.