Songlines Music Awards 2014 Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Cross-Cultural Collaboration: Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita

Album: Clychau Dibon on Astar Artes

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 artist photo © Andy Morgan

There's something deeply gratifying about this whole collaboration- the pairing of the West African kora with the Welsh harp. There's the actual physical object: a CD bound like a chunky book, replete with insightful notes and its beautiful front cover image. Then there's the intriguing story behind how the two came together to record this album - a series of initially unfortunate circumstances, which turned into this most serendipitous meeting of musical talents - you can read more about this in #102.

The first impression is what an unlikely combination of two completely different cultures this is. But when you hear the inextricably cascading notes, you realise that there are fascinating similarities that connect these two instruments.

This accolade isn't their first - the album won fRoots 2013 Album of the Year and was nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. And on evidence of the interest they piqued at their extraordinary showcase at WOMEX - so jammed-packed most people could only see the very tips of the instruments - I wager there will be many more plaudits to come.