Amadou Diagne has centuries of West African Music at his fingertips. Cory Seznec is a musical wanderer and uncertified ethnomusicologist.
A chance busking encounter in Bath planted the seeds of a collaboration that’s been fermenting now for over a decade. After many "touki" (journey in wolof, Amadou’s mother tongue), the duo embarked on a new musical adventure and thanks to the support of Arts Council England those seedlings are shooting up into the light. Following Touki’s album Right of Passage (released in 2020) they are excited to be releasing their sophomore record, Plastic Man, at the end of 2023. Both albums were recorded at Peter Gabriel’s legendary Real World Studios.
Their latest release focuses on climate change and environmental activism, drawing together West African fables, personal stories and the social, economic and political challenges facing both developing countries and western ones. From personal stories and experiences it aims to bring awareness to the pressing need for solutions to this giant crisis affecting us all.
Here the kora dances playfully with and around the banjo, the guitar the fiddle and the cello; the calabash and other percussion add powerful driving beats; and silky voices entrance the listener. The influences are many, and rather than remaining in any one tradition, the touki - the musical voyage itself - is the destination.
About the Artists
Born into a Griot family of percussionists and praise singers in Dakar, Diagne is not your ordinary griot. Though he draws heavily on Coastal African sounds and rhythms, he has forged his own identity as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. A self-taught kora player (he was prohibited from studying in Senegal because he did not descend from a lineage of kora players) and guitarist (he developed a signature style to accompany his powerhouse voice) His music has been featured in Songlines, BBC3 Late Junciton and FRoots.
A French-American in Paris, Seznec’s fingerstyle guitar playing is syncopated, polyrhythic, cross-pollinated and idiosyncratic. He sings and plays banjo, guitar, kora and percussion as he wades in the deep river of American song. Busking misadventures with Malian musicians in the Paris metro led him to Songhai songsters in Timbuktu an ancient omnutibo guitarists in Western Kenya. Feverish touring with the world roots trio Groanbox gave hi his sea legs. But a three-year stint in Ethiopia is what cracked everything open. These experiences shaped Seznec into an artist who traces the through -line across musical cultures and whose songs let the past reverberate in the present.
A scintillating sequel to Ali Farka Touré & Ry Cooder’s Talking Timbuktu. Revisited and enriched with unique kora-banjo-acoustic guitar combinations of a rare elegance ROLLING STONE
Early bird: £12/£10 concessions till mid September and then £14/£12 concessions