Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita
cdRoots Code: st-aar25
From Alex Brown's RootsWorld review: "Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita connect two ancient musical traditions separated by a vast ocean on Clychau Dibon. Finch is an accomplished concert harpist who grew up on in a small village near Aberaeron on the shores of Cardigan Bay in Wales... Keita grew up in southern Senegal in the town of Ziguinchor on the Casamance River. His mother’s family, the Cissokhos, are griots and his father is a descendant of Manding king Sundiata Keita... The interplay between both musicians is fascinating and remarkable... The cultures of Wales and Senegal may differ, but these artists share their musical histories with honesty and enthusiasm." The CD won numerous awards in 2013 and was worthy of them all. Highly recommended.
"Robert Ap Huw Meets Nialing Sonko "
From the press release:
Old Welsh harp songs, Manding kora staples, Latin dashes, Celtic arias and more woven together to create something new that also possessed enough depth to sound sage, even timeless.’ Andy Morgan
A stunning shared musical journey between two world class virtuosos – Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and West African kora player Seckou Keita.
From Casamance in Senegal, Seckou Keita is both a member of the royal Keita dynasty from Mali (through his father), and a griot, a traditional West African praise singer (through his mother’s family, the Cissokhos, from Senegal). He has built a formidable reputation as “an inspired exponent of the kora”(The Guardian) and is “a brilliant live performer with stacks of charisma” (Lucy Duran, Radio BBC3).
One of the leaders of the newest generation of African traditional musicians, Seckou combines his own musical heritage with a willingness to embrace the traditional forms and instruments of other cultures.
Harpist Catrin Finch is one of Wales’ leading international musical ambassadors, and one of the world’s finest players of this most Welsh of instruments. The “Queen of Harps”, Catrin was Royal Harpist to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales from 2000-2004. Her concert appearances with the world’s top orchestras span the globe and she has worked alongside artists such as Bryn Terfel, Sir James Galway and Julian Lloyd-Webber.
The harp occupies a vital place in the incredibly rich cultures of both Senegal and Wales. The West African harp – the kora – played by Seckou is made from a dried gourd and fishing line; the Welsh harp, played by Catrin, is one of the most iconic symbols of a nation steeped in music. Remarkably, both nations share a centuries-old bardic tradition of intricate oral history, expressed through music, song and verse.
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