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Issa Sow


Home Rec. Issa Sow : Doumale (SN/B,2009)***°

-La Musique d'Issa Sow-

Violinist and multi-culturalist Wouter Vandenabeele had met Issa Sow in Senegal after two extensive tours through a Senegal/Belgian music project (the Hamdallaye-project), discovering in his turn traditional music from the northern Fouta areas and sharing stages with groups from Dakar (Ngaari Laaw and Daby). When this famous Peuhl singer/nianidoru player (a 1-string ethnic violin with a rather dry string colour of sound) came to Belgium, he showed interested in the different types of violins and approaches to the violin. Wouter took the opportunity to add different sorts of string arrangements to different Western African rather traditional styled songs, composed by Issa in general. Wouter showed with this a rich variety in string arrangement approaches perfectly suiting and accompanying the different songs. It is amazing, but the Belgian musicians succeeded to play at times in an Arab orchestra way (-therefore is needed an ultimate discipline : a dynamic vibrating completely united playing where each member plays exactly the same notes and emphasis'-). On the overture the Western African village folk style therefore is brilliantly mixed with the urban dynamics of such an Arab orchestra. Elsewhere the strings can change to more baroque-classical arrangements or accompany in plucked accents. The basic group includes other Western musicians on subtle percussion, handclaps, or harp-like strings (cora) with amidst all that and completely adapted and dissolved into the needed dynamics of musical sounds, Tom Theuns on guitar (also never playing when not needed). Wouter at one stage improvises a solo, where the track changes into an African violin solo by Issa. Often the Western African group is given its own full space, the extra arrangements, when occurring (as in a bit over 2/3rd of the recording) are always added with full subtlety and with all respect, without forgetting its own dynamic force. The expressions give a wide range of worlds succeeded to be captivating from start to finish.

#Belgium #Senegal

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