Musiques Métisses - 40 ans de Festival d'Angoulême
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Sia TolnoMy Life
My Life tells of this nomadic, stormy, rebellious life made of twists and turns and sudden fast straights. It displays all the affective wealth of a woman who has fought to survive and has had to suffer to create. It reflects her phenomenal ability to adapt to circumstance and different social circles, while refusing any restriction of her freedom. Applied to her art, this gift has allowed her to move freely on the great avenue of African music, paved with the beats of village dances, the rolling rhythms of the ocean, Mandingo harmonic subtleties and the vocal constructions of the forest. Balafon, Hammond organ, sax, Fulani flute, electric guitar, accordion and kalimba form a dazzling, often exuberant and always perfectly executed canvas on which she expresses her unbridled, infectious moods. Sia says she has “no right to be sad” and the joy she conveys on Blamah Blamah or Aya Ye turns hungry, almost ferocious. She has never given up on either loving or being and slips into sweet melancholy on Tonia and Di Ya Leh. Meanwhile, memories and consciousness of the present collide and merge. On Odju Watcha, the citizen of a continent where rights are flouted and democracy abused speaks out, asking “When will the blood stop flowing?” Her voice soars over the backing of a female choir as if her individual destiny could only be meaningful when weighed together with the fate of all the other women of Africa and the world. Like Sia, many have suffered the domestic violence of Toumah Toumah and many will identify with the fighting spirit of Polli Polli, where she alludes to a universal truth with these essential words: “Women are the pillar of the nation; educating one makes the world wiser.” Like her elder sisters Miriam Makeba, Angélique Kidjo and Oumou Sangaré, Sia Tolno makes her private battle everyone’s business and turns her joy in battling fatalism into a generous delight in sharing. My Life leaves its listeners stronger and more alive.
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