Tag Archives: “Andra Kouyate”

a clip of the closing track of our upcoming album ‘tuning pegs and fishing line’…

Follow and share the facebook page and make sure you keep up with the album ‘cos it’s gonna be a beauty…

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music cycles’ first promo video…

Our first day of recording…

All the musicians pose together for an impromptu group photo

Record number of takes in 100 degree live room before sneaking a break- 5

Spontaneous dance breaks from Baini our electric guitarist- around 5…

Best use of resources- Kona (studio owner) for his ‘egg box sound proofing’

Exclamations of ‘ne nodo’ (‘my mistake’)- countless

Hours worked in studio- something near to 8

Tracks recorded- 3 (and we had only aimed for 2!)

So, with the first 3 tracks recorded, our album is finding its feet, getting its groove on, and taking some kind of shape for its inevitable late-night London mixing in May…

Mikaela and the boys (Madou and Ton Ton)

Mikaela in the innovative ‘eggbox liveroom’

Imran mic’s everyone up!

It’s lunchtime and Andra insists that Mikaela and Baini need their photo taken together (after weeks of warning that he will elope with her)

The dusty rehearsals begin…

Playing ‘Green Brooms’

Arriving at our rehearsal in Dialakorodji, we remove our Sotrama bus face-masks with a dramatic wipe of our dusty eyes. We walk from the sand piste to find the usual scene of gazing children, tea-making friends and of course, hard-working musicians working intensely. Normally we rely on the far-reaching sound of Ton Ton’s tama to find our way to Andra Kouyaté’s al fresco rehearsal space but today feels different, somehow more familiar and we stroll in the right direction with ease.

As we settle down, we enjoy the last few songs of Andra’s band. The sun begins to set and as a red fog descends upon the streets our audience of children grows, defying the usual 7 o’clock prayer-time curfew.

We say our ‘Nche’s’ and ‘Ekakeneh’s’ before the rehearsal begins.

Hard at work

Ton Ton and Madou get into the groove…

Uncle Fousseyni (the middle brother of the Kouyaté family) joins us for a rehearsal

While the orange mud brick wall behind us radiates the days dry heat and Mikaela’s microphone distorts gently we begin to wonder whether this rehearsal space could not be improved with some relocation work.

Rehearsing in Dialakorodji

But as Aramata waves an offer of porridge in our direction, the children dance and a local farmer passes us with his twelve strong cattle herd mooing loudly into the dusk air, we understand Andra’s choice of space.

In the few rehearsals we’ve had so far, we’ve worked on mixing a couple of traditional songs from home with Bambara songs. The result; the start of someting we hope to record at the end of March.