Strings Tradition is an original production, different from the countless recordings which try to mix and mingle musical cultures of various origins. First of all because it deals with the union of classical traditions (West Africa, North Indian and that of Southern india) which have little in common with the vague idea of “popular music” that we usually attribute to “ethnic” sounds. It is important to underline that we are witnesses of a coming together of instruments of great relevance, as the sitar, the violin and the kora. In the same way, the artists involved in this project MAMADOU DIABATE, SHUJAAT KHAN e LALGUDI GJR KRISHNAN are all important musicians in their own countries and both Diabate and Shujaat have been nominated for the Grammy Awards in the World Music category.
MAMADOU DIABATE was born in Kita, Mali, one of the major centres of the Mande culture and comes from a family of griots (or jeli) the singers who trasmitted and kept alive the oral patrimony of wisdom and knowledge of the community. Still a teenager, Mamadou performed at regional ceremonies, becoming quickly a celebrity. His kinship with the great kora player Toumani Diabate allowed him to become involved in the international music business, where he is now building an already significant career. SHUJAAT KHAN, son and pupil of the famous Ustad Vilayat Khan, deceased in 2004, revealed his special qualities when still a child (his first public performances were when he was six). From that moment his name has appeared on the programmes of every major festival of his country and after that his art began to be appreciated all around the world, and in particular in the United States. LALGUDI GJR KRISHNAN as well belongs to a family with an ancient musical tradition (his father is the famous violinist Lalgudi G Jayaraman) and he has already proved, in the previous recordings for our label, what an inventive player he is. From the first track, Nyanafi, written by Diabate, the trio shows to feel at its ease, with a theme full of pathos and soulfulness. In Birds Fly First, by Lalgudi, on the contrary, it is all about the accelerated and repeated cadenzas, which make the track an enthusing crescendo, with some brilliant improvisations. Himalaian Rain (by Shujaat) depicts an introspective, meditative mood, while the final Sigui Dyarra is a perfect example of interaction between the three. The Strings Tradition project is completed by Gourishankar on tabla and Muraly Trichy on ghatam.