Soothing and Inspiring Sounds from Mali: Ballake Sissoko & “Mali Ko”

I try not to inundate folks with too much music, but I cannot help share the following gorgeous, important, and powerful pieces coming from the West African Nation of Mali.

ballake_kora_profile_2In Peace is an instrumental record from the Malian Ballake Sissoko and the French cellist Vincent Segal.  Combining sounds of traditional Malian music, classical strings and allusions of Middle Eastern and West Indian musical elements as well, this album is the perfect antidote to a stressful day or a means to unwind calmly into that good night.  Don’t delay as it is currently streaming on NPR’s First Listen for only a short time, go here and watch as the world fades away.

But before you dive in, take a second to watch and listen to this gorgeous song by Voices United for Mail, consisting of some of Mali’s most famous and important musicians, with a very powerful message, an end to the fighting and strife in Mali.  In spite of the language barrier (though you can read the English subtitles), the passion and pain these performers feel transcends in a way only music can and provides the belief (at least to this one) that a song can help to bring change, solace, and hope to even the most troubling of situations.

For more information on Voices United read below:

In response to the situation in Mali, Fatoumata Diawara has gathered over 40 of the Country’s most renowned musicians to record a video and song calling for peace. The group collectively called ‘Voices United for Mali’ includes Amadou and Mariam, Oumou Sangare, Bassekou Kouyate, Vieux Farka Toure, Djelimady Tounkara, Toumani Diabate, Khaira Arby, Kasse Mady Diabate, Baba Salah, Afel Bocoum, Tiken Jah, Amkoullel and Habib Koite amongst many others. The track is called ‘Mali-ko’ (Peace / La Paix).



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