From left: World music ensemble Constantinople, with Pierre-Yves Martel (viola da gamba), Patrick Graham (percussion), Kiya Tabassian (setar and voice) and Ablaye Cissoko (kora and voice) are coming to Errington to perform music from their Itinerant Gardens project at Errington hall on May 12. — Michael Slobodian Photo

Musical cultures combine with Constantinople ensemble in Errington

Group brings together Persian, Mandingo Kingdom musical cultures

World music group Constantinople is coming to Errington Hall with a unique sound that brings together the Persian court and the Mandingo Kingdom.

Coming up on May 12, the group will perform music from their Itinerant Gardens project, which began with the idea of pairing the sounds of the setar with that of the kora (a West African harp), said setar player, singer and the group’s artistic directo, Kiya Tabassian.

Constantinople often createssongs based on musical encounters between different musical traditions — in this case those of Persia and the 13th century Mandingo Kingdom of Africa.

“These are two instruments from two very different musical environments, and from two different continents, but I found that these two instruments can really establish a kind of dialect, which brings it much farther than each individual instrument,” said Tabassian.

“That’s what we wanted to achieve, and I think… we are achieving this.”

For the project, Tabassian brought in Ablaye Cissoko, a kora player and singer.

Together with Pierre-Yves Martel on viola da gamba and Patrick Graham on percussion, Itinerant Gardens features often very peaceful music that includes Tabassian singing Persian poems from the 13th and 14th century, as well as Cissoko singing poetry from his own tradition.

An interesting common theme from both musical backgrounds is nature, said Tabassian, and especially water.

But commonalities and differences aren’t the point, said Tabassian. The project is named Itinerant Gardens because, while the individual performers, their musical heritage and their instruments can each be appreciated individually (like elements of a garden), the idea is to create something altogether — a traveling garden of music.

“You have some pieces coming from Mandinka traditions, pieces from Persian traditions, pieces composed by all of us, composed by Ablaye or me. You have the viola da gamba, you have the percussion, all those different elements get together to make a garden,” said Tabassian.

The Constantinople ensemble performs Saturday, May 12 at Errington War Memorial Hall (1390 Errington Rd.) with Jesse Epp opening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 or $27.5 online and are available at the Errington General Store, Cranky Dog Music, Heaven on Earth Natural Foods or online at

Just Posted

VIU researches importance of French Creek Estuary area

Estuary not currently included in any protected areas

RDN director seeks land-based disposal option for Area H project

McLean believes there is techonology district has not fully explored

Tanner Allan earns Lukas Whibley Memorial Award

Lacrosse player honoured for integrity, leadership and sportsmanship

Tax hike? Proposed RDN budget to impact District 69 areas

Residents encouraged to share thoughts on proposal

RDN teams up with VIU to deal with French Creek stench

Partnership aims to implement a state of the art odour monitoring program

VIDEO: Milner Gardens Christmas Magic 2018

Lights, Santa and more in Qualicum Beach’s Milner Gardens and Woodlands

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Most Read