Ellika & Solo
Out of world music's frequent and sometimes misguided attempts to create dialogue between different musical accents, one recent union has stood proud from the crowd, brilliant in its simplicity, and stunning in its delivery. Its all the more sweet for Ellika and Solo, who owe their success to the hand of fate.
From a casual encounter in a Stockholm club, where they were mistakenly billed to play together, Ellika Frissell and Solo Cissokho have become staunch musical soul mates, their unique rapport yielding one of 2003's most entertaining releases Tretakt Takissaba, with further recognition to come at the prestigious BBC World Music Awards.
Solo Cissokho is a seventh generation kora player from Casamance in Southern Senegal, and a troubadour of the unique music and culture of the griot storyteller, while Ellika Frissell is one of Scandinavia's leading fiddlers. Deeply rooted in Sweden's rich and enigmatic music, she was at the forefront of the Swedish folk revival, most notably with the adventurous group Filarfolket. Together they've found fertile common ground without diluting their respective cultures, Ellika's lilting polkas fitting seamlessly with Solo's voice and the rippling phrases of the West African harp to make uplifting music where the sum is infinitely greater than its parts.
With further evidence that traditions can converse, two of Ireland's finest add their voice when Altan's Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and Dermot Byrne, fiddle and accordion, join Ellika and Solo for a finale that brings both hemispheres together in open musical dialogue.