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Ballaké Sissoko

A walk in the Charente countryside with the grandmaster of the kora.

The album was supposed to be recorded in Bamako. In the end Ballaké Sissoko did it in a mansion in the Charente countryside, several kilometres from Angouleme. The skilled master of the kora was accompanied by his friend, Vincent Segal, which produced the album and the three musicians specifically brought from Mali: the guitarists, Badian Diabaté and Moussa Diabaté, and the balafon player, Fassery Diabaté.

It was a quiet setting, rupestral, with a wanting to be in peace and taking the time to search for a new colour based on the main cords, all while respecting the fundamentals of the Mandingo music.

On the last day of recording, we left filming several versions of parts from the album. First, it was in a meadow surrounded by cows and then, in the surrounding forest. Ballaké alternated his solo improvisations, the theme of the Brazilian Luis Gonzago, “Asa Branca,” in a trio with Vincent and Badian, and one of the greatest, Mali, praise-singing classics, “Badjouru,” with the entire group.