Both musicians have displayed an aptitude for defying expectations – the list of trip-hop cellists is pretty short, after all. And Ballake Sissoko has become a familiar name on the world music scene through his work with American blues legend Taj Mahal and Italian minimalist Ludovico Einaudi, among others. But perhaps the combination of kora and cello works so well because there are no expectations for it. The collaboration grew out of a personal friendship, and at no point was there an attempt to produce a record that would be slick and hip and commercial. Yet it has become one of Europe’s most buzzed-about world music recordings in the past year.
3/01 @ Wolf Trap – Vienna, VA
3/03 @ Florence Gould Hall – New York, NY
3/04 @ Victoria Center for the Arts – Boston, MA
3/05 @ North Beach Bandshell – Miami Beach, FL
3/08 @ Old Town School – Chicago, IL
3/09 @ Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN
New Video: Behind the Making of Musique de Nuit
Captured in January in the heart of Bamako, ‘Musique de Nuit’ is the fruit of two lengthy sessions – one night on the roof of musician Ballaké Sissoko’s home and the other – in a room of Bogolan’s studio. Check out this new video of the ‘making of’ this intriguing new album via No Format!
New Album in September from Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal
In 2009, the kora player Ballaké Sissoko and the cellist Vincent Segal decided to make an album that would capture the musical conversations they had been weaving together over the years.
Recorded in Salif Keita’s studio in Bamako, Chamber Music was acclaimed by NPR, The Guardian and Le Monde. It received resounding praise from critics and the public alike, for transcending genres, trends and boundaries.
Since then, the duo’s music, noble in spirit yet deeply simple, has continued to be heard throughout the world. With over 200 concerts, from Europe to China and the US to Brasil, this beautiful music has graced prestigious concert halls such as the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, the Barbican in London, the Fundação Gulbenkian in Lisbon and the Konzerthaus in Vienna. The duo have given a master class at the Bloomington Jacob School of Music and their music has been heard at festivals from Womad to the Chicago World Music Festival and the Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival.
Six years after Chamber Music, the partnership between the two men has continued to blossom and grow, nourished by their years of pilgrimage together. Now their friendship resonates louder than ever on Musique de Nuit. Recorded in January 2015, in downtown Bamako, this new work is the fruit of two sessions. One, recorded by night on the rooftop of Ballaké Sissoko’s house, and the other recorded during the day at the famous Bogolan studio.
Two souls, united by a sense of freedom and momentum that seem to melt and find echoes of Manding, Baroque, Brazilian and Gypsy in each other. This freedom is the sound of two musicians who are masters of their own instrument, artistry and tradition, who are able to transcend all that to concentrate on every breath, every sound, their own dialogue and to put all their attention onto the beauty of the moment. Sheltered from the horrors of modern life, Musique de nuit celebrates all that is poetry in the world.