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Catrin Finch and Seckou KeitaMichal Shapiro writes:
in performance at WOMEX, Cardiff in 2013.
Filmed by Michal Shapiro.
Read the RootsWorld review of Clychau Dibon
As far as I know, the collaboration between Seckou Keita and Catrin Finch is the first one to pair the kora with another harp. And upon hearing this duet, one actually wonders what took so long.
The two musicians in this duo are well matched, Keita has a history of innovating and experimenting with his instrument --he plays a western-machined double necked kora-- but has been careful to always maintain some distinctive root of his beloved West African music. Catrin Finch (known in her home country of Wales as the Queen of Harps) is also known for her forays into experimental music, as well as her mastery of the standard classical and folk repertoire. For this performance, Keita brought both a single and a double necked kora, while Finch played a striking Camac "Big Blue 47" concert harp with pickups on each of the 47 strings.
When Finch and Keita play together, there is a complete immersion one with the other. Keita plays the rhythmic patterns and Finch's precise fingers play a counterpoint or a harmony figure and it all just feels right. Keita grins when Finch plays a stately figure enhancing his motif, and Finch nods back, giving Keita the room to cascade away on the kora. And that's quite a blazing solo he takes at the end, I might add. Through it all, there is a close communication that is palpable.
Read Michal's complete commentary on this performance at Intermuse
Video and commentary ©2013 Michal Shapiro/Intermuse