Friday, Jan. 31, 2020
3MA: BALLAKÉ SISSOKO, DRISS EL MALOUMI, RAJERY
3MA is the meeting of three string-instrument virtuosi, emblematic of their countries in Africa, but also of generous artists who share a musical passion, a reciprocal dialogue and a beautiful friendship.
In 2006 when the Malian kora magician Ballaké Sissoko, the Moroccan maestro of the oud Driss El Maloumi and the Malagasy prince of valiha Rajery met, they could have stopped like so many others after a bunch of concerts and one final recording. But the miraculous tremor that rose from their instruments when they began playing together still resonates today. Driven by the pleasure of an exceptional musical relationship but also a human one, they have met regularly since, and always joyfully, their reunions always enriching their solo careers.
Centuries of musical tradition run through Ballaké Sissoko’s fingers. In his griot family, tricks and secrets for playing the kora have been inherited over generations. At first, Ballaké learned to play the instrument in secret, as his father did not want him to become a musician, but later he was able to study openly with traditional griots. In 1997, together with his cousin Toumani Diabaté, he recorded "New Ancient Strings," which refers to the very first kora instrumental album, "Ancient Strings" that their fathers had recorded 30 years before. As a member of the Instrumental Ensemble of Mali, Ballaké started playing all over Africa, then in Europe. He later formed his own troupe in France before gradually gaining international recognition. His limitless creativity has led him to fruitful collaborations with the Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi, the Iranian-born percussionist Keyvan Chemirani and the Cretan lyra player Ross Daly. Of all his experiments, one of the most fertile has been his collaboration with the cellist Vincent Segal, which has achieved great recognition and introduced the kora to a new audience.
In 2015, Ballaké Sissoko took part in the soundtrack of the César Award-winning movie "Timbuktu" from director Abderrahmane Sissako.