Around the World – 22 & 24 May 2022 - Preview
Notes and videos for this week's show
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Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita’s album Echo released on 27 May is their third and marks ten years collaboration. Catrin is a classically trained harpist from Wales. Seckou Keita from Senegal has lived in the UK since 1999. He is a master of the Kora, a Senegalese harp.
Their record company says in a press release:
“It's been ten years since Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita formed a duo. The seamless virtuosic union of the 47 strings of Catrin Finch's harp with the 22 strings on each neck of Seckou Keita's double kora – two cultures, two histories and two personalities merged into one atmospheric musical journey – has become a rare global music hit. Described by Songlines Magazine as 'one of the most popular world music acts of this decade', Finch and Keita create music that not only champions their exquisite instruments but blends elements of new and old music from the Western Classical, Celtic, folk, contemporary and West African song traditions, each echoing the other in an evolving tale of mutual discovery and delight.
“By the time they finally met again in 2021, Catrin and Seckou rediscovered their magical ability to 'blend hearts, minds and fingers’ and find their echo in each other.
“Snippets of tunes were drawn from the 'tune bank' the pair had accumulated during their countless soundcheck jams in pre-Covid days. Others were gleaned from side-projects, a ballet score, TV commissions, festival collaborations, works-in-progress and experimentation.
“ECHO proclaims the tender triumph of an extraordinary partnership, the dissolution of opposites into one seamless musical expression of our common humanity. "With this album, it feels like we've reached our place, musically and creatively," says Catrin. This is the echo they will leave behind – the echo of dear ones now departed, of beating hearts, of music, of love. "That's what continues to travel through space and time," Seckou says, "even after the last note has been played, or the last word has been sung."
Also this week
From Louisiana The Riley Family Band whose La Vie de Riley has just been released. Steve Riley says that the recording is the result of the family playing lots of music together over the past two years. “For fun, for therapy & to support our household when livestream shows were the only shows we had.”
Grammy-winning musician Steve Riley is a widely acclaimed master of the Cajun accordion. He began his musical career at seven, growing up in Mamou, Louisiana. As a teenager he honed his craft as a student of Dewey Balfa, touring and playing throughout south Louisiana with Dewey until his death in 1992. For the past 31 years, Steve and his renowned group, the Mamou Playboys, have traveled the United States and the world as ambassadors of Cajun music and culture. Also a music teacher of 30 years, Steve has passed his love of music to his two sons, Burke Riley, ten, and Dolsy Riley, seven. They both play multiple instruments like their father and have already logged several hours playing and singing onstage with him. In this concert, father and sons perform together as the Riley Family Band.
Babra & Megitza
Flow at the Gorals is a track from the collaboration between Polish band Megitza and Budapest based Hungarian band Babra. Razem is a compilation of music from the Balkans and of the South Slavs. The Gorals is a housing development in north Wales, but that has nothing to do with this album. The Gorals are a Polish indigenous ethnic group also known as the Highlanders. They live in an area called The Goral Lands in Poland, Czechia and Slovakia.
I do like a bit of Turkish psychedelica - Altin Gun, Gaye Su Akyol, Baba Zula - but the Şatellites are a six-piece band from Israel who describe their music as “lost somewhere between the mysterious alleys of 70s Istanbul and the scorching sun and crystal blue sea of Jaffa”
Songlines Magazine’s annual awards has been announced. I’ll be playing music from the winners and nominees over the next few weeks. Every year among the nominees I find artists on the list that I had missed the first time around. This week Ebo Krdum nominated the Best Artist section.
Also Playing This Week
Ahlam, Auld Gods, Benedicte Maurseth, Chalga, Diamante Eléctrico, Ebo Krdum, Erol Josué, Etran de L'AÏr, High & Rising, Leyla McCalla, Natalia Lafourcade, Nava Oysterband, Rema Romengo & Mónika Lakatos, Talisk, Tone Of Voice Orchestra, and Viguela