Chamber Music by Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal
The album is the beautiful brainchild of two very different string musicians: Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Ségal. Sissoko is known for playing a traditional lute-harp instrument from Mali called a ‘Kora’, while Ségal is known for his ease with a cello. Their new album comes as a direct result of the duo’s friendship, but it couldn’t have been done without their talent and musical backgrounds. Ségal plays cello for a popular French band ‘Bumcello‘, and Sissoko has worked with American blues master Taj Mahal. In that regard, it’s no wonder the pair has come together. The wonder lies in the unusual pairing that’s never really been done before.
The combination of an old-world African instrument with traditional French cello music makes for soothing, graceful music that’s not often heard in today’s day and age. This gives Chamber Music a much slower pace than what you might be used to tuning into. But all it takes is one listen and you’ll notice–Sissoko’s Kora gives the tracks a unique, vibrant, modern twang while Ségal’s cello contributes the slightest reminder of a more classic style. The album itself is too out of the ordinary to define in any substantial way, so set aside any expectations and just listen.