Orchestra of Samples
Click on the link for the project's own site, it includes much more than here, with a full blog of all recording sessions, live shows and more (for info, we no longer update this blog here).

Orchestra of Samples is our live project and album based on sampling recording sessions we’ve spent many years filming with hundreds of musicians worldwide improvising on all manner of instruments, splicing them together to create a digital supergroup of international artists who never met.
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  Wang Chung   Henry Dagg   Lætitia Sadier   The Beatbox Collective   Inner Vision Orchestra   Baluji Shrivastav   Bruno Zamborlin   Hamilton Yarns   Alistair Anderson   Shona Mooney   Matt Seattle   Callum Younger   Amy Leach   Rachel Cross   Brian Martin   Kuljit Bhamra   Bongosan   My Real Name Is Starship   Chris Birkett   


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  Marcellus Nealy   Coppé   


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  Seifeddine Helal   Hamdi Makhlouf   Zouhheir Gouja   


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  Baye Fall Ndem   Abdoul Mbaye   Pape Mass   Massamba Diop   Matador   I-Science   Matar Diagne   


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  Bo Houss   Maya Kamaty
Djembe drums, hoddu guitars & a trip to Gorée Island
Abdoul Mbaye (on the left) comes from a 'griot' family - essientially storytellers in western Africa who perpetuate the traditions & history of a family or village in song. The keeper of 'history's living memory', without the griot the names of kings and warriors would have long vanished without a trace. Originally from the region of Fouta Toro situated on the border of Senegal and Mauritania, Abdoul has been playing music since his childhood. He sings about history, everyday life, peace, love and hope and describes himself as 'pan-African', happily playing with bands from Senegal, Mauritania and Mali, and in 1997 created the music group Bawdi Alamary. As well as western guitar, Abdoul plays the "Hoddu", a small traditional African guitar also known as the Ngoni.

During our stay in Dakar we met up with Abdoul several times, including seeing him perform at the huge Festival des Arts Nègres. He kindly invited us to his home to record with him and to share with his family a traditional Senegalese fish meal that you eat with your hands! A few days later he visited us in Dakar with his friend, singer Demba Fakourou (above on the right) from the Mauretanian band Diddal Jaalal. Demba is a nomadic artist and sings about afro-nomadic life in different languages, including in Arabic, Wolof (Senegal's native tongue) and Poulaar (a local dialect).           
After an afternoon recording at the French Institute in Dakar with Pape Masse, an amazing djembe drummer who's taught classes as far away as Japan, he invited us to the beautiful Gorée Island where he lives. It's a stunning place off the West coast of Senegal, and now a UNESCO World Heritage site, it has a sad and awful history as the most infamous slave depot through which Africans were 'warehoused' on their way to America.

While there we filmed a whole bunch of Pape's friends playing drums and kora, even our friendly guide and fixer Matar Diagne proved to be a bit of a rapper himself, so we filmed him doing some fantastic impromptu freestyle rapping!

Thanks to Mamadou Diagne and the French Institute in Dakar :
BBC news story on Gorée Island :