Accompanied by legendary musicians : Vincent Segal on the cello, Ballaké Sissoko on the kora and Roger Raspail on percussions, singer-guitarist and Creole adventurer, David Walters delivers « Nocturne » : a meditative journey in chiaroscuro, subtly melancholic, a sacred fire laced with infinite sweetness.
The night blurs everything. It promotes fire and a flurry of incandescent encounters. In this soft and delicate “Nocturne”, a swirling cello with classical and nomadic inflections intertwines with the delicate rainy notes of the kora, the folk guitar, the ka drum and its cohort of spirits.
Songs in Creole carried by swaying and flowing melodies are added to this instrumental mix. Frontiers become blurry, the Mali coming together with Guadeloupe, Martinique… But at the end, does it really matter? The music keeps resonating…always new, always moving, experienced vicariously in the present, forged by the combined love of four musicians, four humans, who enjoy and make us enjoy their sounds and their heritage by sharing them without borders and with open hearts.
The idea to gather these masters, this “all-stars” trio – the cellist Vincent Segal, the kora player Ballaké Sissoko, the Guadeloupe percussionist Roger Raspail – came to David Walters ’ mind as time became suspended. Indeed, as he was fully engaged in promoting his record Soleil Kréyol, released in early 2020, and entering a tour at full speed, the all-terrain singer, globe-singer, and adventurer of “Créolité “ is subject, like the rest of France, to this “Big imposed brake.” “Just before the lockdown, I was feeling great, inspired by a magical pace,” he says. Suddenly, I find myself locked in my home, filled with so much more energy that I had use for: I felt like a fireball stuck in a cage. ” After the early days, when the artist multiplied the live streams, he then found comfort in the essential. He started whispering his secrets to his guitar, chiseled on its strings new songs, like testimonies, out of the womb, and out of the time passed through and out of this withdrawal into oneself.
Between two music sessions, he calls his friends, including Vincent Segal, his “mentor.” The lockdown favors confessions. Over the course of a discussion, David embraces his dream: “You know, Vincent, one day I’d love for us to make a record together, spontaneous, raw, not overproduced. And, above all, I would like us to invite Ballaké.” Because, among his bedside records, among those who soothe him the most and help him reset his counters, along with Chopin’s Nocturnes, and the duo Ali Farka Touré / Toumani Diabaté, Walters mentions the precious Chamber Music, signed Ballaké Sissoko / Vincent Segal.
Entrust your cellist with your dream and he might make it happen and even add his own twist. To David, Vincent replies: “So let’s do it! And it would be even crazier if we would invite Roger Raspail”. Quite a symbol for David: a “master” of the drums, an “old man” from the West Indies … A few phone calls later and the appointment is quickly made for a recording session, set just after the end of the lockdown.
For David Walters, the pressure was now mounting. He still had all the pieces to compose. He isolated himself for ten days in a cabin near the ocean. In a meditative state of mind, inspired by the immensity of the sea and the dancing waves, he created his songs. In the depths of his rhymes, he paid tribute to Manu Dibango (Papa Kossa), carried away by the coronavirus; summoned Fela Kuti and his famous maxim “Music is the weapon” (Freedom); talked about this shelter boat that he rents every summer (Carioca); asked for more autonomy for the African and Caribbean peoples (Sam Cook di) or tried to appease with music, this slight wind of panic that blew over his home once the lockdown had been announced (Baby Go). And then, with Vansé, he describes that strange moment, the fine line between doubt and trust, in the midst of chaos: the prospect of a horizon at the far end of a long tunnel. “I only composed songs that were very connected to my interior landscapes,” he explains. “There was not the slightest desire for effect or for a willingness to seduce. I was helpless, all naked: with only my voice and my guitar “. With Vincent, for two days, he worked out the architecture of each song.
Finally, the long awaited three recording days were here. Roger Raspail listened to some patterns. Ballaké prefered to have his ears join the team with a clean slate. And Vincent had set this rule: “recording without a click, without headphones, without electronics. » It was a real challenge. “In an atmosphere of proximity, just like it would sitting near a fire, we were in complete listening symbiosis with each other: an osmosis, an incredible harmony”, recalls an emotional David. Roger Raspail recognized, in this challenge and adventure, the immense complexity of simple things. Vincent Segal speaks of a “jazz session” as if it were a miracle, never reproducible: an instant shot of a given moment. Ballaké was happy to adapt, delivering calmy his notes. All played in a low and quiet manner always on the lookout for each other. And the magic came into light: a new world paced through by four, on a journey like a communion. Following their tracks, an intense melancholy emerged, along with an infinite sweetness. “Nocturne resonates with our times,” concludes David. “A subtle mixture of modesty, sadness, hope. A secret to be shared. A great interior joy… A sacred fire. “
The new album “Nocturne” will be released February 5th 2021