Below musician, Harper Simon and Ben Okri describe how they met and how Okri came to compose lyrics for Simon’s solo album, including the song, Wishes and Stars, featured in the video. Or did Simon compose the music for Okri’s words? You be the judge.
Simon: ‘The more I read of his work, the more I could connect to his world-view and I found in his poetry this lyrical quality. So two or three years later, as I started thinking about recording my solo album, I asked Ben if he might be interested, as an experiment, in me adapting one of his poems and setting it to music’.
Okri: ‘We talked a lot and, one day, he asked if I’d give him a poem he could set to music. Then I didn’t hear anything from him for a year! Next time I see him, he’s come up with the perfect melody and danced with the poem and made it sad and beautiful and clear’.
Okri will bring his unique “lyrical quality” to Africa Writes on 4 July 2015.