Volontany

COMPOSERS: Rajery
LABELS: Indigo
PERFORMER: Rajery (voice, instruments), etc
CATALOGUE NO: LBLC 2592

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After this exhilarating but pressured, masculine performance, Volontany is a more varied take on Madagascar’s music. Rajery, its instigator, is an untiring composer, singer, organiser, general activist and one-handed player (he lost the fingers of the other in a childhood accident) of the valiha, a tubular zither strung on bamboo.

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His bet was that a mix of inherited styles and personal creativity would work. The format is ‘acoustic’ – apart from the basses – and encompasses haunting choruses and polished arrangements, imaginatively voiced. Rajery’s singing has a mellow, heady expressiveness, and the album is a treasure trove of surprises.