“The Nile Project’s music-making is an equally deliberate process. The traditions of the region share instruments — flutes, lyres, percussion — that are related but used in very different systems of scales, rhythms, and song. At the Nile Gatherings, musicians find themselves on turf at once familiar and foreign. ‘We are so close, as African neighbors, and yet there is not much sharing,’ says Ethiopian saxophonist Jorga Mesfin.

“Using a modified version of Theory U, a group collaboration model devised by MIT professor Otto Scharmer, Girgis says the gatherings begin by putting musicians in small groups, then gradually merging their ideas through composition and arrangement. Most of the artists are bandleaders themselves; here, they must check their egos.”

Read more at the Globe.