France meets Namibia
Lansiné Kouyaté, balafon maestro from Mali teams up with David Neerman, electric vibraphone sorcerer to form the musical universe of Kouyaté Neerman. The duo visiting from France is pushed to new heights by a new groovy rhythm section comprising David Aknin and Antoine Simoni. The balafon is similar to a wooden xylophone but with calabashes for a soundbox. On one side we have David Neerman, a free spirit in an orbit of his own across Europe’s fledgling creative scene. A lunar poet of the vibraphone, he’s as much at home in the evanescent universe of Korean chanteuse Youn Sun Nah as he is in the spontaneous, urban slam of Anthony Joseph & the Spasm Band, contemporary post-jazz, or the thousand-year-old poetry of Mandinka music. On the other side, Lansiné Kouyaté, a Maestro of Mali’s music and an undisputed master of the balafon, “the classical piano of Africa”. As a child prodigy (with a Griot mother, and a father who played the balafon), he was enrolled by the National Orchestra of Mali when barely ten and then hired away by Salif Keita before he started turning up unexpectedly almost everywhere. He’s partnered the greatest names in West African music, but he’s also a bold experimenter who has adapted the ancestral sounds of his instrument to the most diverse languages to be found in either “serious” or popular contemporary music. But Kouyaté-Neerman are much more than the simple pairing of two men, two cultures or two musical styles. Over long hours of improvisation the two musicians would exchange their wisdom and other possessions, progressively laying down the basis for a universe of sound that is totally organic floating on the foundations of Mandinka music, yet radically breaking with all the clichés of the music called “fusion” or “world”. The concert takes place on Tuesday 8 October at the Warehouse Theatre. Doors open at 20:00. Tickets are N$60 in advance at the Warehouse Theatre or Computicket and N$80 at the door.