I know I should be coming up with a Thanskgiving message – how about “Thanks for sticking around!”? – or watching football, or cleaning up the house while preparing to head out for the family shindig. Instead, I found myself putting this post together.
Here are five very modern, in other ways old songs – “Eastern” artists with instruments, arrangements, production all in some way reliant on “Western/American” technology and aesthetics, brought to us on the internet… but I’ll leave further discussion of the larger themes to some other time…
[myyoutubeplaylist F1ZeVicy5PE, 4QyQAG7mvpM, dpkiK0J_IZU, FxBxeChwJEM, RLl_dbuxwVE]
Some info on the artists:
- Rez Abbasi & Kiran Ahluwalia – The first piece, “Things to Come,” is new to me, but I like it a lot – as an “art” video, and as a vehicle for the Pakistani-American guitarist-composer Rez Abbasi (from his album under the same title). Kiran Ahluwalia provides the ethereal vocals. Abbasi also plays guitar on “Teray Darsan,” Ahluwalia’s setting of the lyrics of a typical Ghazal: The beloved as simultaneously a human lover and the divine. I believe Ahluwalia still carries a Canadian passport, but, in
re-connecting with her “other” heritage, she dedicated herself to
interpreting traditional music for the present era.
- Raghu Dixit – from India… I know a lot less about him, except that he may be something of a sensation or on the verge of becoming one. His band fuses traditional Indian folk stylings with rock’n’roll. The first song is one of the folkier selections available on YouTube. The second song – “No Man Will Ever Love You Like I Do” is not a re-settting of “You’ll Never Find…”
- Arif Lohar & Meesha Shafi: Pakistani, with a setting of the Sufi folk song Alif Allah Chambey Di Bootey. The prominently featured Coke Studio sponsorship to me completes rather than detracts from the sense of “fusion” between East and West, empyreal and mundane, spiritual and political. The song came to our attention a few months ago when it was mentioned by a Pakistani writer who was decrying fundamentalist violence against peaceable Sufis.
(Also wanted to show fuster and y’all another way to present a set of ‘tubes.)