This multi-cultural grouping was formed in 1990 following the break up of leader Trevor Watts’ previous groups, Moiré Music and the Drum Orchestra. ‘With the earlier Moiré Music, we had a purely improvisational group. With the MMDO we moved towards a more structured, integrated music in which all the musicians contribute ideas. The band was originally my idea and I fund all the recording and publicity but the group is fairly open and everybody takes responsibility, ’ stated Watts. Still rooted in African traditions and rhythms, the orchestra used this as a base for improvisation and original songwriting. They are based in Hastings, Sussex, England, but in 1993 toured South Africa after being given a grant by the British Council (previous tours included the USA and Canada). Typically, the shows mixed performances with workshops, with audiences fascinated by the primarily West African-derived rhythmic structures of the group, with many of the percussionists (including Nana Tsiboe, Nana Appiah, Jojo Yates and Nee-Daku Patato) originating from Ghana. Watts later set up the Moiré Music Trio and the Moiré Music Group, with personnel including Colin McKenzie, Marc Parnell, Ali Iaazane, Roberto Pla and Paapa J Mensah.
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