Review: Världens Band @ Rich Mix (London, 13th October 2015)

Let us be a little dreamy and idealistic here…if the whole world would behave like Världens Band, we’d all live in a much better planet.

The gig that we recently enjoyed at Rich Mix, which was also the baptism of Världens Band U.K. Tour, was indeed a smooth show of cultural integration, collaboration and dialogue between traditions.

The 13-member ensemble is indeed one of the best synonyms of multiculturalism and living and playing proof that it can work harmoniously.

They represent a project composed by musicians coming from all over the world, playing music styles rooted in traditions far from each other and brilliantly showing how music can act as a cultural mediator.

Even if the soul of the band is blatantly Swedish (the project is born and grew up in the Scandinavian country), it hosts influences and languages coming from U.K., France, India, Tunisia and Senegal, and smoothly melts them into a rhythmic and melodic whole.

However, their shows, which are arguably the best way to enjoy Världens Band music, also highlight the individualities living side by side in the group and allow them space to express themselves. In this way, the musicians can emphasise their origins and display their skills.

And that’s what happened on the Rich Mix’s Stage…

During the event organised by Celebrate Life, the ensemble gave life to a collective performance of distinct and distinctive musical natures.

So even if, as anticipated, you could always recognise the Swedish folk character of the compositions and their arrangements, you also couldn’t avoid noticing how Abdou Cissokho’s kora sounded so noticeable but knitted together to the other instruments.  The Southern Indian singing technique of Charu Hariharan brilliantly enlightened the atmosphere, French and North-Eastern Spanish bagpipe and recorder melodies introduced by Cassandre Balosso-Bardin revived a pan-Celtic sentiment.  Whilst Northern-English and Scottish tradition embodied by David Foley, Dave Gray and Matthew Jones (who are also members of the band I Keep Ears in Buckets) had a so close relation with those Swedish tunes.

Världens Band laboriously define themselves as “transglobal world fusion” ensemble, when they just have to say that they are “world music” in the true sense of the definition.

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