Colors of Flying

Will Ridenour

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Colors of Flying is Will Ridenour’s first official instrumental solo kora album. The tracks include interpretations of traditional kora repertoire in addition to original compositions, bringing together 15 years of kora study, practice, and performance.

The Kora is a 21- or 22-stringed bridge-harp from West Africa. According to oral traditions, the kora originated with the Senegambian Mandinka of the Kabu Empire, which encompassed parts of present-day Guinea-Bissau, southern Senegal, and the Gambia. The strings of the kora are made of fishing line, and they resonate through a large, halved gourd stretched with a cow hide. Traditionally, the kora is played by Mandinka Jalis and Mande Jelis (“griots” in French) who are members of a special caste of society that work as musicians and oral historians. They are veritable walking libraries of information and history; artisans of speech and sound.

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