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World Music Matters

From baroque to rock with French duo Lillabox

Audio 10:00
Lillabox
Lillabox Rachel Saddedine

On this week's World Music Matters, we hear from the young French duo Lillabox. Guitarist Alexandre Heztel and cellist Matthieu Deranlot tell RFI about their debut album Faidherbe Street, the culmination of four years of jamming night and day in their tiny home studio.

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They're an unlikely couple: Matthieu the classically-trained cellist who began conservatoire aged five, Alexandre the self-taught guitarist and sound engineer. But  after a chance meeting at a musical workshop eight years ago something clicked.

Since then they've built a rich musical landscape together, drawing on traditions of Baroque, Indian raga, flamenco as well as rock.

For their "hand-made" album Faidherbe Street (released on 24 May) they've enlisted the talents of Palestinian percussionist Youssef Hbeisch. "He envelopes our music," says Alexandre, "bringing the bass, and high frequencies we don't have."

Canadian singer Tara Baswani lends her ethereal vocals to two of the tracks. But the album remains essentially accoustic, veering into the cinematographic on tracks like Clint and India.

The album is not the fruit of extensive travels, yet they manage to take the listener on a sensual voyage. "We dream it," they say by way of explanation.

Lillabox are a fine example of what you can achieve when you put talent, imagination and sheer graft into the mix.

We haven't heard the last of them.

Lillabox have an upcoming tour in Canada. They play Paris's Divan du Monde on 15 September. Follow them on facebook

 

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