Program Notes

Iniche Cosebe

By Mike Block

This composition was inspired by the music and culture of West Africa, and developed through an ongoing collaboration between Mike Block and Balla Kouyaté, a balafon player from Mali, in West Africa. The title and lyrics of the vocal melody (“Iniche Cosebe”) are from the Mandinka language, and translate to mean “thank you very much.” Kouyaté comes from a long ancestral line of musicians in the Djeli tradition of storytelling through songs, in which each composition has an underlying story or moral. This piece is a meditation on gratefulness and joy, featuring both vocal and instrumental melodies that sit upon a cyclical groove featuring layered interlocking riffs, called a Kumbengo.

Program notes by © Mike Block 2024