Chet Corpt & Sean Gaskell

Two American practitioners of the West African kora engage the shape-shifting landscape of the Mandinka sonic arts.

The kora is a 22 stringed harp, a creation of the great Mande civilization based in West Africa. It has migrated in somewhat recent years to be recognized as a music of global significance. Chet Corpt and Sean Gaskell are honored to be a small part of this development, initiated by the work of various kora masters, some of whom both have studied with.

Kora arises from a primarily oral culture, and one of the hallmarks of Mandinka sound arts is that it’s style and substance are remarkably fluid. There are no codified versions of songs, or even of the narratives behind them. There are, of course, traditional and ceremonial music performances in Mandinka culture, but in a concert setting each performance is intensely personal, and hopefully unfolds in new and unexpected ways.