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This summer sees the return of the unique collaboration between Ghanain xylophonist Isaac Birituro and British singer-songwriter Sonny Johns and his band of live musicians, AKA The Rail Abandon. Having created something of a buzz back in 2019 with their debut albumKalba- gaining support along the way fromGilles Peterson,Cerys MatthewsandTom Ravenscroftto name but a few - and after something of a hiatus, the duo teased us earlier this spring with theLapaz EPin preparation for their new LP, entitledSmall Small, due in July.
Dondomo, the third single to be taken from the album, means 'enemy' in Isaac's native language of Birifor - a state some feel easier to fall into than others, as Sonny explains:
"To have enemies we must be an enemy ourselves. When we think we are right and our 'enemies' are just simply wrong we make ourselves the enemy from their perspective. And where does that get us? But when we try to understand where the opposition argument is coming from, to find middle ground, collaborate or just to rub along without animosity, we usually find everything works a bit better. Some things can't be achieved alone, so it's probably best not to make enemies!"
Small Smallis a very Ghanaian saying, a direct translation to English, which is used in a wide variety of contexts to mean 'bit by bit,' 'one step at a time' or 'slow and steady'. Sonny was first introduced to the phrase on his first trip to Ghana in 2016, when he met Isaac in Kalba, and the phrase popped up over and over ever since.
"The album is about loss, frustration and struggle, but it's also about the light at the end of the tunnel; about overcoming difficulties to find a brighter future and no matter what separates us, whether that be language, culture, continents or boarders, when we listen to each other and learn from each other, there's really not much that separates us. So from everyone involved, here's to a brighter future." Sonny Johns

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