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Udaipur lake, peaceful tunes: Ablaye Cissoko & Constantinople open day 2 of UWMF


The first stage for the second day of the Udaipur World Music Festival was set up against the picturesque background of Fateh Sagar Paal lake. And much like the peace that the serene lake can bring, the music was simple, mellifluous, and rather befitting of the setting.

The Canadian band Constantinople, in collaboration with Senegalese musician, Ablaye Cissoko, who plays the kora, left the audience utterly at peace. This, in spite of the unsparing Rajasthan sun beating down on them. They presented 'itinerant gardens', a set made up of poetic encounters from West Africa and Persia.

With less stress on vocals and more on the soothing quality of music, Cissoko & Constantinople created a truly unique atmosphere. One which left no room for the usual hooting, cheering, dancing seen at other concerts.

In this interview with Catch, Kiya Tabassian, the lead vocalist for Constantinople talks about his understanding of music, their collaboration, and the kora.

"The kora is a fantastic instrument," says Tabassian, while talking about Cissoko's music. "It's an African art which [has been] played [for] centuries. It's a harp, with 21 strings."

"It's played by the Griot, the messengers of society. And Ablaye belongs to this community," he adds.

Durga M Sengupta @the_bongrel

Feminist and culturally displaced, Durga tries her best to live up to her overpowering name. She speaks four languages, by default, and has an unhealthy love for cheesy foods. Assistant Editor at Catch, Durga hopes to bring in a focus on gender politics and the role in plays in all our interactions.