On October 13 - 2011, Goetze and Cissoko will appear at Culturehub in NYC, in the debut performance of their Mande Symphony, a multi-media event that will feature the duo along with a string quartet, the much lauded Richie Barshay (Chick Corea, Esperanza Spaulding) on drums, and computer-modulated video created by visualist Joshue Ott.

The Mande Symphony tells the legendary story of a Mande griot, Kimmintang CIssoko, from the time he prayed that he could help alleviate the suffering of his people through his encounters with African spirits and genies that ultimately led him to create the African kora.

Mandinka, the language of the Mande people, is a tonal language, making it ideal for musical adaption. The tonal sound provides a base for notated, rhythmic sound that provokes improvisational passages from the orchestra.

During the performance, sampled speech and music will be sent to a computer, where Joshue Ott will modulate their effect on stunning visuals from South Africa, in real time. Ott creates a carefully crafted dialectic between the aural and visual experience; his artistic intention is to evoke some sense of the powerful African spirit underlying the Kimmitang story in a way that makes it accessible and powerful to a Western audience.

Mande Symphony is made possible in part with public funds from the NY State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, The Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Volker Goetze - composition
Joshue Ott - superDraw
Ablaye Cissoko - kora,voice

Carolin Pook - violin
Brian Sanders - violin
Andrea Hemmenway- viola
Filip Pogady - violoncello

Jonathan Singer - marimba
Richie Barschay - percussion

Victor Kanesfsky - video editing supervision
Marie Planqouis - additional editing

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