My next edition of Wereldmineralen, the sparkling saturday morning non-stop world music-hour of De Concertzender – broadcasted on Radio 6, on May 10th, 2008 – features four recent releases with music steeped in the rich musical traditions of Mali and India.
(kora player Toumani Diabaté)
The first half hour focuses on the rich musical heritage of Mali, and starts with wonderful music of world famous harplute-kora player Toumani Diabaté, from his new album ‘The Mandé Variations’. Then we move on to American jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater who musically explores her ancestral African roots in Mali on her album ‘Red Earth – A Malian Journey’. She joins musical forces with some famous and electrifying Malian musicians, among them -once more- kora-emperor Toumani Diabaté, singing nightingale Oumou Sangare and master of the ngoni-lute, Bassekou Kouyaté.
The second half hour of the programme highlights two fascinating and beautifully recorded and produced albums from India. First there’s a track from the album ‘Mandala‘, that offers a jugalbandi (duet) played by South Indian veena player Jayanthi Kumaresh and North Indian sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee, both also members of the Shastriya Syndicate. The fascinating sitar-veena duet on Mandala is rhythmically supported on mridangam (a double sided barrel shaped drum from South India) by Jayachandra Rao and on tabla (the well known two drum set from North India) by Subhankar Banerjee. The musical heritage of North and South India -sitar and veena, tabla and mridangam- blends wonderfully and the result is a masterpiece of North and South Indian traditional fusion.
The programme closes with the album ‘Syndicated’ by The Shastriya Syndicate, an ensemble -founded by sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee- that consists of musicians from the North and South Indian classical raga tradition. The music of the Shastriya Syndicate is steeped in both raga traditions. A rich layer of sounds is produced on beautiful instruments that are rarely combined on the raga-stage: sitar, veena, sarangi, bansuri, tabla and mridangam. The result is a surprising heady mix which is emotionally expressive and delightfully exciting. So, tune in to this edition of Wereldmineralen and you’ll be surprised by all these fresh and exciting sounds from Mali and India.