Toumani Diabaté and the London Symphony Orchestra are premiering “Mamadou Kanda Keita,” the second offering from their collaborative album Kôrôlén, out April 23 on World Circuit Records. Stream the track HERE.
The track, which features a vocal performance from the eminent Malian griot Kasse Mady Diabaté, is an interpretation of “Mamadou Boutiquier,” an ancient composition well known in another form from In the Heart of the Moon, Toumani’s Grammy-winning album with Ali Farka Touré. Toumani comments, “This is another In the Heart of the Moon, but in a classical way…it is now even more sophisticated, with orchestra, to show to the audiences: ‘look at this music in a new way, look at African music in a new way.’”
Commissioned as a special project by the Barbican Centre in London and produced by World Circuit, Kôrôlén features Toumani and his group of eminent Malian musicians (including Kasse Mady Diabaté and Lassana Diabaté), accompanied by the soaring presence of the LSO in dedicated arrangements by Nico Muhly and Ian Gardiner and conducted by Clark Rundell. The title bestowed by Toumani on this unique and groundbreaking release—Kôrôlén—translates from the Mandinka language as “ancestral,” a fitting theme for an album that brings together ancient griot melodies and Western orchestral arrangements, resulting in an achingly beautiful and fresh neo-classical sound that will appeal to admirers of African, traditional and new classical, and ambient music.
Stream the album’s first single, “Haïnamady Town,” HERE.