From Kabul to Bamako is a music project on the theme of exile, forced departure, but also new beginnings.

From Kabul To Bamako

If these two cities are separated by thousands of kilometers, they are not connected by a road, but by a community, by similar destinies. This musical project explores the various memories and identities of exiled artists that managed to keep their cultural heritage as a unique baggage. Through their art, their home country resides in their heart.

With this project, we navigate through these countries, from which many have to leave : Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Kurdistan, Soudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda and Mali. As many nationalities as histories, carried by the same will : tell the story of destinies that thousands share. “From Kaboul to Bamako” isn’t only a record but a journey, a true transcultural creation that allows the artists to express their emotions, and the listener to hear those different paths.

“Sowal” means “question” in Persian, “diabi” means “answer” in Bambara.

This ambitious project was first envisaged more than two years ago while pondering the plight of refugees, their contribution despite the somewhat hostile attitudes people display towards them.

From Kabul To Bamako

Sowal Diabi brought together on the same stage artists that have all experienced exile, physical or cultural: Malian star Mamani Keita, Iranian singer Aïda Nosrat, her compatriot Sogol Mirzaei playing the târ (lute), the Afghan tabla-player Siar Hashimi, the Kurdish stranbej (virtuoso singer) Ruşan Filiztek and the French Ethio-jazz group Arat Kilo.

This in turn led to a meeting of minds and music despite differing traditions, resulting in this collection of 14 pieces. It’s a shimmering, fascinating tapestry of sound, weaving a diversity of timbre, temperament, and offbeat fashion, in which this strangely disparate Diaspora could not help but touch, attract and ultimately blend in an embrace bordering on love.

NMR (photo: press: From Kabul To Bamako)