Wales’ most celebrated harpist, Catrin Finch joins forces with the Senegalese kora virtuoso Seckou Keita to record ‘Clychau Dibon’, a CD of unique instrumentals that blend the Manding music of West Africa & the ancient melodies of Wales. A beautifully-illustrated book-format CD holder contains extensive notes in both Welsh & English.
‘Clychau’ is Welsh for ‘Bells’, alluding to the heavenly peels that feature on the album. The Dibon is a member of the hornbill family which lives in the Northern tributaries of the River Niger in Guinea & the Sahel of Sub-Saharan Africa. A romantic bird, the Dibon pairs for life, but males & females spend the night sleeping in separate trees; early in the morning they call to each other, the male using the lower notes and the female higher ones. So compelling and distinctive are the calls of the Dibon that they have worked their ways into the rhythms of many of the local traditional songs, giving rise to the Mandinka rhythm ‘Dibon’, & the name for the second bass string of the left hand side of the Kora.
The harp occupies a vital place in the incredibly rich cultures of both West Africa and Wales & both nations share a centuries-old bardic tradition of intricate oral history, expressed through music, song & verse. The remarkable affinities between the harp & the kora as well as the Welsh & West African cultures from which they have emerged are fused on this CD into a single intensely inspiring river of music.
Les Bras de Mer
Robert Ap Huw meets Nialing Sonko