Posts Tagged ‘afrocubism’
Between June and September 2012, the We Face Forward season celebrated West African art and music in Manchester and was a huge success. Subsequently, they have teamed up with the Manchester promoter and world famous Band on the Wall venue to produce a free app for the iPad that features a number of live video recordings and interviews taken at Band on the Wall, The Royal Northern College of Music, the Bridgewater Hall and many more.
The app is a perfect example of the ethos of Band on the Wall who make it their “charitable mission” to pass on the knowledge of other cultures and music. The app, which features Angélique Kidjo, AfroCubism, Kanda Bongo Man and many others are the first in what they hope to be a long line of musicians to feature on the app.
As well as preserving what was a successful We Face Forward season, the app also serves to entertain and educate those in the classroom and at home about West African music and art.
Designed to be user friendly, the app was also constructed to be able to play videos smoothly, regardless of whether the user is using a wifi or 3G connection. However, there is no compromise on quality with download speed and the app is supported by both AirPlay and Apple TV in order to give the opportunity for big-screen viewing.
With the intention of expanding the app to not only feature West African music and art but to feature other world cultures too, it is sure to become a valuable resource in the education of world music and art.
This year’s Grammy nominees have been announced and you’ll be pleased to hear there are some familiar names shortlisted for the Best World Music Album Award. Congratulations go to AfroCubism (AfroCubism), Femi Kuti (Africa For Africa), Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Songs From a Zulu Farm) and Tinariwen (Tassili).
The awards ceremony will be held on February 12 in Los Angeles for their 54th incarnation. We wish the artists the best of luck; we’d be hard pushed to choose!
An indie-rock band who are oft compared to the likes of Radiohead and Arcade Fire are hardly the act that you would expect to see supporting the world’s greatest and best-known kora player – but last Friday, in the cavernous space that is Islington’s Union Chapel, this unlikely pairing proved to be an extraordinary one.
Lauded in almost every national paper over the last few weeks, Revere and Toumani Diabaté wowed the sold-out Union Chapel crowd with their melancholic and dainty sets.
Toumani – who is well-known for his solo work, as well as that with Ali Farka Touré and AfroCubism – delicately weaved his meditative tracks to a captivated audience, winning a well-deserved and overwhelming standing ovation. But this was to be expected from the virtuoso, who has worked with Bjork and Damon Albarn, and instead it was support act Revere who were the surprise of the evening.
The London-based band, who usually appear as an seven-piece, were instead stripped down to band members Stephen Ellis (guitar and vocals), Ellie Wilson (violin, sansula and melodica) and Kathleen McKie (cello and celesta) – and were accompanied by Kat Arney on harp, bass clarinet and harmonium. Ellis proved that he is a natural front-man and spokesperson and guided his band through their set list, which included Nick Cave/Warren Ellis’ ‘Moving On’ and their own hits ‘They Always Knock Twice’ and ‘The Escape Artist’.
The songs – usually robust and energetic – were instead refined, emotional and ethereal, perfect for the delicate surroundings of the dimly lit chapel. Testament to their talent, Toumani himself joined Revere onstage to duet on Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear us Apart’ and later asked Stephen to join him again for his moving, final number.
Photos courtesy of Edu Hawkins.
Kora master Toumani Diabaté is preparing to tour the UK’s more intimate concert venues this November. Regarded as the world’s best living Malian kora player, Toumani has been touring extensively with AfroCubism, who won the 2011 Songlines Music Award for Best Cross-Cultural Collaboration.
This tour will be strikingly different and see Toumani as part of quartet that includes guitarist Fanta Mandy Kouyaté, bassist Mohamed Koita, and drummer Fode Kouyaté. Starting on November 2 in St Georges, the quartet will be performing in Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh, Kendal, Manchester, Southampton, London and Brighton.
For those of you planning on attending the Birmingham performance, we are happy to announce that we will be holding the second Songlines Social event at the gig. We have a limited number of discounted tickets available at £15 for our readers. All Songlines Social attendees will be welcomed at 6.45pm at the Hansom Suite at Town Hall where a complimentary drink will be served before the concert. More details on how to get your discounted tickets are available on page 13 in the current issue #80 (Nov/Dec 2011). The offer closes Monday Oct 31.
For more details about the tour, please visit www.toumanidiabate.co.uk.