Lone Master of the Biram

Lone Master of the Biram
Lone Master of the Biram

presented by The Mamane Barka Ensemble

Mamane Barka was born into a family of Toubou nomads in Niger.  A decade ago, Mamane heard about the beautiful sound of the biram, an enormous boat shaped 5-stringed harp sacred to the Boudouma people of Lake Chad. 

Upon learning there was only one elderly player of the instrument left, Mamane went to live with the Boudouma to study the instrument, its rituals and ancient, mythical songs.  On the death of the master, Mamane was charged with bringing the biram to the attention of the wider world.

Now Mamane maintains the tradition single-handedly, touring the world with Oumarou Adamou, whose trance-enducing percussion is the bedrock of this extraordinarily powerful, desert blues.  The show is a chance to experience an extraordinary and forgotten music and hear the fascinating story of Mamane's quest to rescue this sacred harp from extinction. 

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