A LOT OF THE TIME in music, you make something interesting, expressive or meaningful by adding a bit of spice to it. The knack is to add interest to the music in a way that makes sense with what the other musicians playing in the piece are doing, a bit like playing as a team.
But listening to the kora on its own is really to listen to it out of context. If you put all the other instruments and voices back in, you can hear that Tunde has the solo at the beginning, but he shares it with the singer, Paul Gladstone Reid. They alternate with each other – when Paul’s singing, Tunde plays the pattern and when there’s no singing, he improvises. And when the backing vocals’ chorus comes in, he settles back into playing the repeated pattern.