Eastern fusion ensemble plays to maintain the realm of the collective soul

A poetic encounter between strings and voice, Constantinople effortlessly transports their audiences to the epics of the Mandingo Kingdom to the music of the Persian Court. Constantinople has earned an international reputation for its unique juxtaposing of early musical sources with the living traditions of the Middle East. The ensemble describes this joint crossing of shared regions of the imagination like a deep breath before the inexorable march of time and the world.

Drawing inspiration from East and West, the ensemble, founded in 1998 in Montreal, was conceived as a forum for creation, encounters, and cross-fertilization. ArtSpring presents a rare opportunity to be enchanted by the musical poetry of Ablaye Cissoko on kora and vocals, Kiya Tabassian on setar and vocals, Pierre-Yves Martel on viola da gamba, and Patrick Graham on percussion.

“At the same time extremely poetic, inspired and inspiring, hypnotic.” La Presse, Montréal

Ablaye Cissoko, a West African Senegalese musician, singer, and composer, who plays the kora with smoothness, grace, and intelligence, and sings with sincerity.  Constantinople, messengers and peacemakers, embody the forces of nature, the inexpressible divine, the memory of the ancients. They believe it falls to them to maintain the realm of the collective soul.

“An enchanting atmosphere. A particularly beautiful and fabulous show…”Radio-Canada, Canada

Over the past decade, Constantinople has developed over 35 new works and staged nearly 132 cities in 25 countries. Ablaye Cissoko collaborated with trumpeter Volker Goetze releasing three albums as a duo, Sira in 2008, Amanké Dionti in 2012 and Djaliya in 2014. Sira entered the top 10 world music radio chart on CMJ in January 2009.

Constantinople plays at ArtSpring May 14 7:30pm | bar 6:30pm. Tickets and information: www.artspring.ca | tickets@artspring.ca | 250.537.2102

ArtSpring is grateful to Mouat’s Clothing Co. for sponsoring this performance.