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Between Africa and Persian Music
Griot Words and Sufi Poetry

Poetry between strings and voices, from the epics of the Manding Kingdom to the court music of Persia, a music of stripped-down beauty, akin to a luminous calligraphy.
Between the Constantinople trio and Ablaye, at the beginning, a simple meeting of strings and voices at the sources of universal music. Then, the joint crossing of the common places of imagination, like a long breath.
Throughout time and everywhere, the word of the world has been embodied in the earthly voices of the bard, troubadour, or griot. These artisan poets, both messengers and peacemakers, are the link with the forces of nature, the memory of the ancestors. It is their duty to maintain the daily hearth of the collective soul. Between the Malinké djéli advising warrior kings and narrating their glorious genealogy, and the Khorasan bakhshi, scholar, shaman, and barber, melodies and orality come as much from the earth, water, and air as from the hearts of men.
Taking its name from the ancient beacon city illuminating the East and West, the Constantinople ensemble resembles a vessel that has been carried by migratory winds since 2001, in search of ancient treasures filled with medieval manuscripts and mystical poetry, from Mediterranean Europe to Persia, to the Baroque New World.


Constantinople Ensemble, Kiya Tabassian, Ablaye Cissoko, Patrick Graham