The Two Rivers project is an acoustic duo with Justin (Ravi) Freeman, who plays the West African kora and open-tuned steel string guitar. Ravi is also an accomplished throat singer. In the Two Rivers duo Adrian plays shakuhachi as well as Celtic flutes, oktav-guitar and Japanese koto (horizontal zither). Both musicians also sing and play a variety of percussion including udu, balafon, temple bowls and cahon.
The kora comes from West Africa and is made from a calabash gourd and cowskin with fishing line for strings. It is a complex, 21-stringed instrument with an ethereal, other-worldly sound, full of subtle overtones and polyrhythms, in many ways the perfect complement to the open, sustained tones of the shakuhachi.
Ravi has developed a unique style of playing the kora, and he was one of the first Western kora players to take this instrument into new musical areas such as jazz and fusion. He has released more than 20 albums including work with Nigel Kennedy, Babba Maal, Dr John, John Lord, Deva Premal, and many other musicians. He created the pioneering project “Neuneneu” with Brazilian legend Marlui Miranda which brought Amazon Indians on a European tour.
Ravi also plays the sufi flute and writes beautiful devotional songs.
The Two Rivers project also features workshops; group music-making within a contemplative setting, providing participants with a unique collection of musical instruments from around the world.
The duo often expands to become a trio or quartet with musicians such as tabla player Tom Simenauer, koto player Melissa Holding, and Asha McCarthy who plays Indian classical music on the cello.
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