Where This Meets That
“Tuesday Tunage” is a weekly spotlight for music I deem worthy of a spotlight. To make it worth all of our time, I’ll do my best to emphasize tunes you probably haven’t heard before that represent the art in all its glorious varieties.
The kora is a beautifully bizarre traditional African instrument. It is made from a halved calabash gourd that is covered in cow skin to act as a resonator. The instrument is mounted on a long hardwood neck that binds from 21 to 25 strings up its length using leather straps. The strings form a double harp, connecting to a notched bridge that is mounted directly onto the resonating chamber formed by the kora’s calabash base, making it lute-like, as well.
“Say what?” you say. All I know is that it makes beautiful music.
I first truly listened to the kora when I discovered New Ancient Strings, a collaboration between kora masters Toumani Diabaté with Ballake Sissoko. New Ancient Strings is a magical collection of kora music that quickly carried me away on first listen.
This week, I spotlight one of those two masters, Toumani Diabaté, with a gorgeous demonstration of the instrument and a little deeper explanation of its music. I hope it transports you as it does me.
Check out more “Tuesday Tunage” HERE!