Compagnie Impérial


Ibrahima Diabaté dundun, tamani, goni
Oumarou Bambara djembe, tamani, balafon
Antonin Leymarie drums
Joachim Florent bass
Gérald Chevillon bass, tenor, soprano saxophones
Damien Sabatier baryton, alto, sopranino saxophones

Meeting Malian percussionist Ibrahima Diabaté in France gave us the opportunity to get closer to this rich and organic ancient tradition, by juxtaposing it with the quartet’s own identity. When Impérial Quartet started to wonder about opening things up to other kinds of music, the very first thing we had to do was to make a connection. Africa, with its rich ancestral traditional culture that provides a rhythm for every stage in life, from birth to death, was a natural choice for us. Mandinka music is handed down orally from generation to generation, accompanying festivals, celebrations, and rites. The quartet had to immerse itself in this musical tradition in situ, to really soak up the polyrhythmic structures. It was in Burkina Faso (2013) and then in Mali (2014) that we merged our respective roots. The result is a multi-dimensional mindset, with various rhythmic and harmonic cycles that coexist alongside one another, superimposed, whirling, smouldering within Impérial Pulsar.