Storyteller is a story in colours and sounds, a story of a journey full of unexpected encounters. BOI AKIH effortlessly weaves modern jazz and improvised music with folk traditions from all over the world, creating a unique sound that is unconventional, yet totally recognisable and accessible. Acoustic sounds and electronic soundscapes merge with the versatile, warm voice of Monica Akihary, who sings in both English and Haruku, the language of her father’s island. In Storyteller Akihary and guitarist and composer Niels Brouwer, who form BOI AKIH, are joined by recorder player Dodó Kis and kora player Sekou Dioubate. Together, these four evoke a world where boundaries dissolve and the distances between places, time and traditions don’t seem to exist.
For Storyteller Brouwer and kora player Zoumana Diarra developed a striking and unique kora. With an ingenious extension they rendered the originally diatonic instrument suitable for Boi Akih’s eclectic pieces. But in July of this year, in the middle of preparations for the first Storyteller concert, BOI AKIH’s musical soulmate and dear friend died.
Storyteller could only continue after BOI AKIH found in Sekou Dioubate a kora player who, like ‘Zou’, combines a thorough knowledge of the West African musical tradition with an inquiring mind and the desire to integrate various musical influences into his playing. With the same musical curiosity, recorder player Dodó Kis moves nomadically between styles and traditions, from improvised to early music and Hungarian folk music. These two young musicians give BOI AKIH a whole new character with their musical energy and ideas.