Since 2006, I have apprenticed with a master of the Malinké flute tradition, Lancine Condé. Over the years since, I have returned to Lanciné’s home in Guinea, West Africa, many times to continue my studies of the tambin — an enchanting and unique wooden flute.

One afternoon in 2014, at the end of a two-month visit to Lancine’s home in Conakry, we placed a single condensor microphone on a table between the two wooden chairs in which we sat. Barring the windows and door as best we could from the noisy city outside, we recorded — live and in one take — ten of the songs we had been working on together.

Lanciné’s playing was transcendent. There in the darkness of the stifingly hot room, we played straight through for an hour without stopping, master and apprentice. It was educational and inspirational, to say the least.

The songs below are the result of that session. The performance is raw, and the recording not pristine — but somehow both reflect the atmosphere and environment in which we had been working. The music, for me, rises above. I hope you find something of beauty in this music. — DK

Lancine Condé

Lancine Condé

Djandjon

Fakoli

Fartané

Koumba Wali

Soko

Soli Nyamela

Sorsornet I

Sorsornet II

Sundiata

Wadaba