Nils Kercher & band
SUKU - Your Life is Your Poem
album release tour 2016
The Spell of West Africa and the North
Nils Kercher: vocals, kora / 21-stringed West African harp, balafon, percussion
Oumar Barou Kouyaté (Mali): ngoni / Malian lute, acoustic guitar, talking drum
Kira Kaipainen (Finland): vocals, bolong, balafon, percussion
Sue Schlotte (D): cello
guest: Sylvia Laubé (Martinique / France): vocals, percussion
A sound painter, a storyteller, a seeker of myths. The singer and multi-instrumentalist Nils Kercher is all of these.
He draws the musical language for his stories from the traditions of West Africa and from the introspective atmosphere of the Nordic landscape.
He and his international band spread out their treasury of expressive rhythms alongside balafon and the awe-inspiring kora, a twenty-one stringed West African harp. Their "poetic world music" builds into fantastic contrasts while later passing into an almost sacred sound space with a quietly oscillating pulse.
Kira Kaipainen´s soft voice and her gripping lyrics blend seamlessly with Nils´ broad ranging repertoire of timbres.
The ngoni virtuoso Barou Kouyaté, a long-term member of the band led by his world-famous uncle Bassekou Kouyaté, brings an earthy colour to the texture. His acoustic guitar accentuates Kercher´s melodic kora with great sensitivity and groove. These two artists - coming from very different backgrounds - share a natural and organic dialogue.
Sue Schlotte´s innovative cello style travels from rhythmic effects to classically melodic lines and overtones similar to a Malian violin.
Martinique singer Sylvia Laubé, who has formally been sharing the stage with Rokia Traore, Angelique Kidjou and Papa Wemba, joins in smoothly to create the harmonious and rich choirs the listener finds throughout the concert.
Kercher´s achievement is to successfully merge the lyrical, refined aspect of his compositions with his passion for rhythm and energy. The songs feel like a cycle of verses that leave you enchanted long after the music has faded away.