3MA Adds Their Voices to Africa Shafted

Also a very BIG thank you to 3MA and Contre Jour Belgium (especially Genevieve Bruyndonchkx and Michael de Bock) for believing in the film and supporting it!!!

3MA with their joyous African tracks "Mainte" and "Kouroukanfouga"

The music of 3MA is musical chords, cordial music & cordial means: “that which stimulates the working of the heart”. Ballaké, El Maloumi and Rajery do touch our hearts as three great African musicians, with three symbolic instruments, three renditions on strings, three fluid traditions, and three desires for stirring encounters across Africa. Thank you for proving just how inspirational an African collaboration can be!!! Your sharing of ancestral music allows us to experience and celebrate the continents exceptional cultures.

Who is 3MA?

Ballaké Sissoko: He comes from a Mali dynasty of griots. He plays the ‘kora’, the incredible harp-lute of the Mandinka culture with 21 strings that treats us to a cascade of crystalline notes.

Driss El Maloumi: He comes from Morocco. He plays the ‘oud’, the classical lute of Arab tradition and forefather of most guitars and lutes in the world. Since ancient times, its strings have told the story of peoples and their exchanges.

Rajery: He is from Madagascar, he plays the ‘valiha’, an astonishing bamboo tubular zither that has become the musical symbol of the large red island. Its strings crackle maliciously and skip about like a herd of young goats, telling the everyday, singing of the beauty of the country, accompanying rituals.

The three men decided to weave the invisible bonds between their different countries in their strings that even so, resemble each other. Because, undoubtedly, oral traditions do not support being closed in upon themselves: they have an overwhelming need to move, to make new contacts and exchanges.

Or as Driss El Maloumi says, "To make empirical connections through which they are mutually reinvented. What good is it to play ancestral music if not to exchange and take it further in a mood of sharing? If the harp, the lute and zither can rain music on a dry Africa, why not embrace this adventure? Why not attempt this long journey between East and West, between South and South and thus touch the sensitive chords of a continent that abounds with exceptional cultures and unique musical instruments? Why not show that between them, dialogue is necessary and even convincing?"

This Trans-African experience is possible and our three musicians prove it in a delicate dialogue between instruments and voices. The notes overlap, follow, fall in the step, are answered, start again, and are pushed in a delicate escalation of inventiveness, musical quality and mutual listening. As soon as one of the instruments seems to be on track, entwined in a slick melody, the others discreetly follow so as not to disturb the embrace, they accompany but they also partake in the pleasure, are invited into the dance and quickly bathe in the same pleasure. Happiness is palpable, the music is supple, sensual, and refined. It splashes subtly, it irradiates… filled with the conviction of each person and Rajery’s irresistible smile. It twists in every direction, crackles, sparkles, twitters, takes flight, peaks and then is calm again to listen, converse, sing, speak.

When this music speaks, its notes vibrate like those of a voice, telling us the story of the three Ma, the destiny of three countries, the fate of many peoples, the memories of long journeys, plunging to the depths of cultures, which are observed, appreciated, and tamed. These notes sing to us of life in the south, from every corner of an immense continent where many are strangers to each other but where some day these notes will bring them together, unite them and hoist the sails of the ship Africa, much greater than these three Ma. Ballaké Sissoko, Driss El Maloumi and Rajery offer us an exceptional synthesis of musical Africa, a land cultural diversity, of songs, dance and music with skins, wood, and strings.

The music of 3Ma is musical chords, cordial music – and cordial means: “that which stimulates the working of the heart”.

Thank you to Etienne Bours for this bio.

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