It's been ten years since Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita formed a duo. The seamless virtuosic union of the 47 strings of Catrin Finch's harp with the 22 strings on each neck of Seckou Keita's double kora – two cultures, two histories and two personalities merged into one atmospheric musical journey – has become a rare global music hit. Described by Songlines Magazine as 'one of the most popular world music acts of this decade', Finch and Keita create music that not only champions their exquisite instruments but blends elements of new and old music from the Western Classical, Celtic, folk, contemporary and West African song traditions, each echoing the other in an evolving tale of mutual discovery and delight.
Following unanimous critical raves for their 2013 debut Clychau Dibon, the duo delivered a triumphant second album with 2018's album SOAR, again charting inspirational common ground between seemingly disparate traditions. Thematically inspired by the osprey - the magnificent raptor recently returned to Wales after its persecution to near extinction 400 years ago - and its annual migrations between Europe and Africa, the album's intoxicating, often improvised synergy captures a magical meeting of minds and talents within a borderless musical landscape.
Lockdown enforced a separation, a chance to reflect and devote time to other projects, and calm the frenetic pace of the previous years of touring. By the time they finally met again in 2021, Catrin and Seckou rediscovered their magical ability to 'blend hearts, minds and fingers’ and find their echo in each other.
Their latest album ECHO, to be released on 27th May 2022 marks the third part of this remarkable trilogy.. ECHO proclaims the tender triumph of an extraordinary partnership, the dissolution of opposites into one seamless musical expression of our common humanity. "With this album, it feels like we've reached our place, musically and creatively," says Catrin. This is the echo they will leave behind – the echo of dear ones now departed, of beating hearts, of music, of love. "That's what continues to travel through space and time," Seckou says, "even after the last note has been played, or the last word has been sung."
Press on CATRIN FINCH AND SECKOU KEITA:
“The Osprey migrates between West Africa and Wales - harpists Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita
join its journey on their exultant, mesmeric second album, SOAR.” 4* NEIL SPENCER, THE OBSERVER
'You could listen to this 1,000 times and still find something new" 4* DAVID HUTCHEON, MOJO
"an emotional demonstration of how two virtuoso musicians triumphantly bring different cultures together'"
5* ROBIN DENSELOW, THE GUARDIAN
'Hypnotic and ethereal, SOAR is a unique marriage of cultures' 4* NEIL SPENCER, THE OBSERVER