Gemma Cairney brings together artists from two different countries to combine their talents to make a new piece of music.
Kate Stables is the staple of folk project This is the Kit who have released four albums – now based in Paris, Kate has found herself drawn to the hypnotic rhythms of Saharan music and gnawa music.
Dating back to the 12th century, gnawa, which is played on a three stringed instrument called the guembri, is the music of formerly enslaved black Africans who came to Morocco from Sub Saharan countries , and founded a model to preserve the traditions and folkloric music of their ancestors.
Traditionally, women do not play gnawa and performing in public is still a widespread taboo. But despite its deep traditions, modern Gnawa is evolving. Asmaa Hamzaoui is the daughter of a famous “maalem” (Gnawa master) Rachid Hamzaoui. Encouraged by her father, she has become the first female guembri player in Morocco and one of the first around the world with her band Bnat Timbouktou.
Kate will be travelling to Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco and home to gnawa music o to collaborate with Asmaa and see if they can merge together the banjo and the guembri to create something new.