Channelling the unsung beauty of East Africa.
Yorkshire Festival presents a European premiere. The Nile Project brings together forward-thinking musicians from the 11 countries across the Nile River Basin, channeling the unsung beauty of East African traditions to create the new sound of a shared Nile identity.
Inspired by Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project, Egyptian musicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero created this concert experience to raise awareness of the cultural and environmental challenges along the world’s longest river.
In the collective’s collaborative compositions, resonant harps and lyres from up and down the river have learned new musical modes, combining the polyrhythmic styles of Lake Victoria and the pointed melodies of the Ethiopian highlands with the rich modal traditions of Egypt and Sudan, that support vocals in more than ten languages.
Some of the music shows roots in Arabic culture, some in East African; the words are in various languages, the voices gentle, declamatory and harmonious.
The Nile Project is the performing side of a collaboration that also includes education in music and environmental issues, raising awareness of the entire Nile River Basin as an ecosystem.