We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali

by Derek Gripper

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    For a fair price of YOUR choosing...

    A digital sound file is of no value and costs very little to create. The music is of immense value to those who love it, and of little or no value to those who don't (and everything in between). I don't know where you fall on the graph of high value to no value. You do. If you take it for free, come back and pay once you have decided where you stand.

    For VINYL please go to https://matsulimusic.bandcamp.com/album/one-night-on-earth-music-for-the-strings-of-mali

    Share it far and wide...

    If you really love this music I am sure you know a few people who would love it too. SHARE
    ... more
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 22 Derek Gripper releases available on Bandcamp and save 35%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Sleep Songs for My Daughter, 32 Minutes in a Boston Living Room (Live to Cassette), Billy Goes to Durban, One Night on Earth: Live in 2021, Arvo Pärt, Guy Buttery and Derek Gripper Live in Cape Town, A Year of Swimming, Saturday Morning in Boston, and 14 more. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      $152.10 USD or more (35% OFF)


  • One Night on Earth Vinyl
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    First released by Matsuli Music, this 180g heavyweight vinyl edition of Derek Gripper's mesmerising kora interpretations features original Toumani Diabate compositions and the classic tracks Jarabi, Kaira, Konkoba and Tubaka.

    Includes unlimited streaming of One Night on Earth: Music for the Strings of Mali via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more

    Includes unlimited streaming of One Night on Earth: Music from the Strings of Mali via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

'56 03:04
Elyne Road 03:16
arr. Derek Gripper
Bakoye 03:08
"Ma-Ma" FC 03:14


One Night on Earth, recorded in a single all night session, includes Derek Gripper’s extraordinary interpretation of the Malian kora on guitar. This CD features the compositions of legendary Malian musicians Toumani Diabate, Ali Farka Toure, Ballake Sissoke and the French cellist, Vincent Segal.

The kora which is a 21 string African harp-lute made from a skin covered calabash with a hardwood neck is described by Derek Gripper as “one of the most complex instruments in Africa, an instrument able to perform bass lines and harmonic accompaniment while simultaneously improvising virtuosic melodic lines, creating the impression of a three-piece ensemble on just one instrument.”

“Gripper has cracked it…his playing has a depthless beauty, which does full justice to the complexity of Toumani’s compositions. To do so without any hint of the music being dumbed down is a staggering achievement on solo guitar…Gripper’s record genuinely complements Toumani’s music, and the more resonant sonorities of the guitar give the record its own baroque attraction…Gripper’s extensive liner notes are a tour de force, too – it’s one of the most perceptive and insightful pieces ever written about the kora and the compositional qualities of Toumani’s unique music.” [Nigel Williamson, Songlines Magazine] read full review

“…one of the most atmospheric recordings of guitar music, of any kind, that I have heard…Derek Gripper has been grappling with the almost overwhelming task of ‘transcribing’ the music of the Kora to the solo guitar. More than a labour of love, Gripper has brought a new purity to the dream-like improvisatory nature of these compositions…the music is mesmerising…the phrases never seem to repeat themselves, although they also appear to move in concentric circles whilst soaring above you in the sky….The drones and ornamentation intertwine in a rich, beguiling counterpoint. My recording of the year, so far!” [Tim Panting Classical Guitar Magazine UK]

‎”The result is astounding, not just for its technical brilliance, but its musicality. Gripper executes these pieces with the precision and attention to detail one might expect from a great classical musician…It’s hard to imagine a more impressive and passionate rendering of Malian music on classical guitar, particularly from a person who has done it all his own way.” (Banning Eyre, Afropop Worldwide) Read the full review

an “extraordinary set of instrumentals…with a unique and quite astonishing guitar technique…at the same time tributes and also very intense, personal takes on the originals…there is a feeling of freedom that is liberating to listen to…he succeeds magnificently…A true synthesis and a great album.” [Ian Kearey, fRoots]

“Doing sublime justice to this music on six strings is an incredible achievement…enormously successful…this music is more about Agape than Eros. As with the excellent album, it is music that leaves you feeling a little more than human, a little better than human. [Chris Roper, Mail and Guardian] Read full review

“Gripper has created more than just transcriptions of kora music but has given listeners a sincere and thoughtful album of music. The synthesis of transcription and personal arranging is what makes this a spectacular achievement on guitar. Gripper is so at home with this music and that makes it more special than most albums I hear on classical guitar. Never do I feel he is struggling or ‘trying’ to pull something off.” [Bradford C. Werner, This is Classical Guitar Read full review"

"For One Night on Earth, [Gripper] does not merely expose the voluminous rotundity of each quivering string, he takes the six strings traditionally allocated to Western guitar and transplants them into the world of the 21-string kora. It is an audacious operation which, in lesser hands, would prove disrespectful and, possibly, disastrous. But Gripper…is a master musician.” [Mick Raubenheimer, Rolling Stone]


released May 12, 2012

ONE NIGHT ON EARTH ~ Music from the Strings of Mali

by Toumani Diabaté, Ali Farka Touré, Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal
arranged and performed by Derek Gripper

Recorded by Howard Butcher at Rivendel Church
Mastered at Peace of Eden Studios, Knysna, South Africa
Produced by Derek Gripper for New Cape Records
Cover Design by twoshoes.co.za
Cover photo by Simon Attwell
Guitar by Hermann Hauser III

Jarabi, Kaira, Konkoba,Tubaka, Kaounding Cissoko, Djourou Kara Nany and Elyne Road by Toumani Diabaté and published by BMG
'56 and Bakoye (Cherie) by Ali Farka Touré, published by World Circuit
Chamber Music by Ballaké Sissoko, published by No Format (Sacem)
Ma-Ma F.C by Vincent Segal (Sacem), unpublished

All guitar arrangements by Derek Gripper and available in score from www.derekgripper.com

The recording of One Night on Earth was made possible by the generous contributions of many wonderful people.


all rights reserved



Derek Gripper Cape Town, South Africa

Derek Gripper creates original music from his diverse influences: Toumani Diabaté, Salif Keita, Arvo Part, and Egberto Gismonti. Derek has also spent many years performing and recording his own translations of Bach’s violin and cello music, infusing his interpretations with his lessons from the oral traditions of Africa. ... more

contact / help

Contact Derek Gripper

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Derek Gripper, you may also like: