Bafilabèn

Two Rivers Meet

 

Ba Fila Bèn, the meeting of two rivers

(Bamana Language, West Africa)

Bafilabèn cover

In the Malian Sahel, the Bafing and Bakoye Rivers meet and flow past sand, scrub brush, millet fields, and rangeland. The Sahel is a borderland between the Sahara and Central Africa, between a world of nomads and the settled world of towns and cities. This collection of songs also exists in a borderland, providing a route between different geographies, languages, and musical traditions.

The result, we hope, is a new passage, one that honors its headwaters but meets the sea in a new place. A new music, for the guitar’s six strings and the kora’s twenty-one.

This sound, these songs, they have also been a common thread as life has taken the two of us on our own disparate journeys. Despite the changing continents, time-zones, and airports, there is a familiar musical space to return to.

Luckily, the kora and the guitar seem to enjoy one another’s company. Which can only mean more journeys to come.

K'an Bèn. May we meet again.