VAARN . tune four

Image is Tinariwen by Thomas Dorn (stylized by me)


“Talyat” by Tinariwen

I discovered this band about a year ago. The video I’m going to share with you came to me via the ineffable YouTube algorithm. Upon seeing the thumbnail of these guys performing all decked out in their Saharan clothing, I immediately clicked on it. The algorithm knew me too well. I was too curious. The first song I heard that day is still my favourite. It is titled “Talyat,” which means girl. This video continues for three more songs. Give them a listen too. Sastanàqqàm is another favourite of mine.

On to the music. The Western-inspired riffs of guitar, backed by rolling percussion and intermingling voices takes me somewhere in my mind. A place reminiscent of the dunes of Arrakis. I haven’t looked into the full translation of the lyrics, but hearing the words and not knowing what they mean gives the music a certain transcendent quality. I think that if I knew the translation, the songs wouldn’t be as intriguing. I can imagine some travelling Faa tribe or settlement cantina being entertained by wandering troubadours akin to Tinariwen, a troupe that tells tales of the desert and its people, the world and its ways. Another good one for the gaming table.

2 thoughts on “VAARN . tune four

  1. I couldn’t agree more! After noting down your suggestion I checked out their other songs and used one of them (Tenere Taqqal) in my vttrpg Vaults of Vaarn game.

    The lyrics made actual sense! I basically substituted Modrenization/Colonialism as the Hegemon and they were singing against its oppressive ways. It worked really well!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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