CultureHub Live-Wired Series / MANDE SYMPHONY / 10.13.2011
Volker Goetze - Composer, Producer
Ablaye Cissoko - Voice and African-harp
Carolin Pook - violin
Filip Pogady - violin
Andi Hemmenway - viola
Brian Sanders - cello
Richie Barshay - drums
Jonathan Singer – marimba
Joshue Ott - superDraw
The MANDE SYMPHONY, an interactive multimedia performance for voice, African harp (kora), string quartet, film and superDraw, tells the legendary story of a Mande griot, Kimintang Cissoko, from the time he prayed that he could help alleviate the suffering of the Mande people; through his encounters with African spirits and genies that ultimately led him to create the very first kora - Africa's lute-harp.
Mandinka is a tonal language, which is ideal for musical adaption. The tonal sound provides a base for a notated, rhythmic sound that provokes improvisational passages from the orchestra.
During the performance, sampled speech and music are sent to a computer where a computer artist modulates their effect on stunning visuals from West Africa - all in real- time. With superDraw, visualist Joshue Ott creates a carefully crafted dialectic between the aural and visual experience and the artistic intention is to evoke some sense of the powerful African spirit underlying the Kimintang story in a way that makes it accessible and powerful to a Western audience.
Mande Symphony was commissioned by the New York State Council on the Arts and was made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on 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. Sponsorship was provided by the New York Foundation for the Arts.