‘Your instrument is your baby’: why musicians dread careless airlines

Ballaké Sissoko with a kora. He says his instrument was ‘impossible to replace’. Photograph: Chris Christodoulou

The Malian artist Ballaké Sissoko says US border officials broke his cherished kora. He’s not alone in his plight

If Yacouba Diabaté drives too rough over a speed bump on his way to a gig, he automatically apologizes to his instrument, secured in the backseat. The renowned cellist Lynn Harrell can see his cello from his bed and says he is effectively sleeping with it. The virtuoso Wu Man still gets upset when she thinks about the time a flight attendant dropped her pipa, a Chinese lute, in 2013. For musicians, she said, an instrument is like a baby. Full story.

Amanda Holpuch (The Guardian) / February 14, 2020

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