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Transpacific Sound Paradise Options
Saturday, May 4, 2013 Options
Sonia M'Barek in concert, FIAF World Nomads Tunisia Festival Opening Night

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Sonia M'Barek and Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble during their World Nomads Tunisia
concert (photo from Al-Bustan / Seeds of Culture's Facebook page).


Tunisian vocalist Sonia M'Barek can sing a centuries-old song from Andalusia, and just as nimbly reframe the words of radical 20th-century poets. She hears the ties of mode and rhythm linking Tunisia’s prized classical traditions, Egyptian cabaret music, and Ottoman court pieces, evoking the diverse musical variations around the Mediterranean with a sultry, supple voice. The Award-winning vocalist was the first female singer to specialize in the centuries-old Tunisian / Andalusian classical form malouf, but she prides herself even more in her powerful personalized renditions of 20th century and contemporary Tunisian and pan-Arabic / pan-Mediterranean poems and songs.

For the sold-out opening night concert of the wonderful multi-disciplinary month-long World Nomads Tunisia Festival, Friday May 3, M'Barek performed at the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)'s Florence Gould Hall with perhaps North America's finest Middle Eastern chamber ensemble, Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble from Philadelphia's Al-Bustan (Seeds of Culture) pan-Arabic cultural center. The ensemble members are Hanna Khoury on violin, Kinan Idnawi on oud, Kinan Abou-afach on cello, and Hafez El Ali Kotain on percussion.

The biennial World Nomads Festival, produced by FIAF, celebrates the phenomenon of 21st-century transculturalism through the arts and scholarly discussion, offering a platform for the exchange of ideas and artistic expression among traditional and contemporary cultures. This May, the fifth edition of the Festival arrives at a particularly suitable time to celebrate the many facets of Tunisia (where the "Arab Spring" actually first took hold in early 2011). World Nomads Tunisia concerts, DJs, dance, theatre, visual arts, discussions and more. Info at http://www.fiaf.org/worldnomads/.

The concert was a co-production with New York's venerable World Music Institute (WMI). Big thanks to everyone at FIAF and the World Nomads Tunisia Festival, Florence Gould Hall, WMI, and also Brian Shimkovitz from Blake Zidell and Associates for making our broadcast possible.

This Week's Playlist:

(* = new)

Bob Brozman Orchestra: Calypso Calaloo Options / Lumière / World Music Network
Bob Brozman, champion of the National Steel Guitar and globetrotting world music collaborator, passed away April 24, 2013.

Debashish Bhattacharya and Bob Brozman: Tagore Street Blues Options / Mahima / World Music Network

Bob Brozman and Rene Lacaille: International Maloya Options / Digdig / World Music Network (0:11:58 )

Takashi Hirayasu & Bob Brozman: Koza No Machi / Koza City Options / Nankuru Naisa / World Music Network (0:13:41 )

Crystal Sisters: Señorita Options / Various Artists: Endless Tropical Night - Selections by Tokyo Panorama Mambo Boys (0:18:24 )
Happy Japanese Golden Week!

Rikki: Hounen Options / Shimauta Trickles / Respect (0:21:36 )
Rikki is from the Amami islands, NOT Okinawa as I said erroneously on-air. However, both are part the Ryukyu island arc of southern Japan. The arc includes the Ōsumi and Tokara islands (whose indigenous people are ethnic Japanese) and the Amami, Okinawa, Miyako, and Yaeyama Islands (whose people are ethnic Ryukyu). The term "shimauta" = "island songs" in Ryukyu language / dialects.

Oki Kano featuring Hanna Alemayehu: Woi He Options / No One's Land / Chikar Studio (0:26:22 )

Isamu Asato: 小浜節 / Yaeyama Nasakeuta / Respect Records (0:28:56 )
Song title google-translates to "Obama Section"

An Chang Project: Today's Our Prayer Options / Monkey Harmonizing Songs / Nektar (0:31:46 )

Wang Li: Les Radiolaires Options / Reve de Sang (0:40:48 )
Wang Li performs at CUNY Elebash Hall, 365 5th Ave. at 34th St. on Tuesday, May 7th 2013, 7 pm.

Gankay Delikan: Concealed Touch Options / Utom: Summoning the Spirit / Smithsonian Folkways (0:45:43 )
Southwestern Mindanao

Coreyah: Dondolariyo Options / Varous Artists: Into the Light:: Music of Korea IV (0:52:30 )

Charan Po Rantan: Tk 3 Options / Charan Po Rantan / Lawson HMV / * (0:56:57 )
From listener Julian in Japan: The consensus here is 'charan po rantan' is a pun on 'charan po ran' = fooling around and 'rantan' = lantern, as you said.

Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble: Samai Kurd Options / Recorded Live at FIAF Florence Gould Hall (1:09:49 )
Composed by Josef Kassab

Sonia M'Barek and Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble: Jadakal Ghaythu (The Rain That Falls Upon You) Options / Recorded Live at FIAF Florence Gould Hall (1:15:33 )
Lyrics by Ibn El Khatib, composed by Taher Guizani

Sonia M'Barek and Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble: Andalusian Suite Options / Recorded Live at FIAF Florence Gould Hall (1:29:29 )
Homage to Khmales Ternane, one of Tunisia's greatest composers. This is a suite in Tunisia's very old classical malouf form, dating to the Andalusian era. It is composed in Wasla Hssine (in Bayati makam or mode). Adapted by Sonia M'Barek.

Sonia M'Barek and Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble: Chouhada El Harf (Martyrs of Words) Options / Recorded Live at FIAF Florence Gould Hall (1:44:52 )
Lyrics by Abdul-Aziz Kacem, composed by Rachid Yeddes. Note the shout-out to Federico Garcia Lorca...

Sonia M'Barek: Al Kalimat (The Power of Words) Options / Recorded Live at FIAF Florence Gould Hall (1:52:05 )
Lyrics by Mnaouer Smadeh, composed by Ahmed Achour. Performed a cappella.

Sonia M'Barek and Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble: Layali Ishbilya (Nights of Sevilla) / Hobbi Yetbadel Yedjadid (My Love is Renewed) Options / Recorded Live at FIAF Florence Gould Hall (1:56:06 )
Homage to Hedi Jouni, mid-century Tunisian singer and composer. Lyrics by Hedi Laabidi, composed by Sayed Shata.

Sonia M'Barek and Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble: Ya Tyr El Minyar (Oh Flight of the Bird) Options / Recorded Live at FIAF Florence Gould Hall (2:07:45 )
Lyrics by Mohamed Boudhina, composed by Rachid Yeddes.

Sonia M'Barek and Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble: Hilma (Dream) Options / Recorded Live at FIAF Florence Gould Hall (2:11:42 )
Lyrics by Khaled Waghlani, music by Faouzi Chkili

Sonia M'Barek and Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble: Al-Anadol (Anatolia) Options / Recorded Live at FIAF Florence Gould Hall (2:19:58 )
Lyrics by Khaled Ouaghleni, adapted by Sonia M'Barek

Sonia M'Barek and Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble: Drub Al-Hayat (The Paths of LIfe) Options / Recorded Live at FIAF Florence Gould Hall (2:30:33 )
Lyrics and composition by Abdel Hakim Belgayed. (This was the encore.)

Ghalia Benali: Ya Rachiq Options / Wild Harissa / Network Medien (2:40:57 )
Performing at FIAF Florence Gould Hall, World Nomads Tunisia Festival, Wed May 15th, 8 pm.

Janusz Prusinowski Trio: Polka Podrozna Options / Serce (Heart) (2:44:29 )

Mehrpouya: African Jumbo Options / Soul Raga / Pharaway Sounds / * (2:46:14 )





Listener comments!

Avatar    Sat. 5/4/13 6:13pm doca:

hi rob and listeners, good evening to you all.
Avatar    Sat. 5/4/13 6:15pm doca:

as a listener located south of the equator, this week has been full of musical discoveries (as it couldn't be otherwise on the 'fmu), including bob brozman and george jones. too sorry to only get to know them because of a so sad reason.
Avatar    Sat. 5/4/13 6:22pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

...Grateful & happy for another Sat. evening of rich, informative & entertaining experiences!...
  Sat. 5/4/13 6:31pm julian:

Happy Kodomo-no-hi Rob! (Kid's day today)
Enjoying the selection.
Gambatte! Tanoshinde!
Avatar    Sat. 5/4/13 6:39pm Rob Weisberg:

Thanks Julian, good evening doca, rr and everyone!
  Sat. 5/4/13 7:01pm julian:

The consensus here is 'charan po rantan' is a pun on 'charan po' = fooling around and 'rantan' = lantern, as you said.
  Sat. 5/4/13 7:06pm julian:

EDIT!
typo - I am reliably informed I messed up: I should have written 'charan po ran' = fooling around.
Oh, the shame.....
Avatar    Sat. 5/4/13 7:08pm Rob Weisberg:

Thanks Julian!
Avatar    Sat. 5/4/13 7:30pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Oh my!: This is fully every bit of what of the description promised! The sound (engineering) also reflects the resources available.
  Sat. 5/4/13 7:39pm berlusconi's nose:

Am enjoying your show from Beijing!
Avatar    Sat. 5/4/13 7:40pm Rob Weisberg:

Good morning berlusconi's nose, and thanks!
  Sat. 5/4/13 7:44pm berlusconi's nose:

Ni hao!
  Sat. 5/4/13 7:50pm julian:

This really is VERY lovely indeed!
Avatar    Sat. 5/4/13 7:54pm Rob Weisberg:

Sonia is a brilliant singer, winner of many awards in Tunisia. And Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble, based in Philadelphia are marvelous too. Many people I spoke to at the concert say they're the best Arabic chamber ensemble in North America.
  Sat. 5/4/13 7:58pm katie:

the violin is killing me it's so beautiful
Avatar    Sat. 5/4/13 7:59pm Rob Weisberg:

...and Katie should know, she's a violinist - !
  Sat. 5/4/13 8:00pm katie:

he's matching the emotion of her voice so effortlessly. when it cries, it cries.
  Sun. 5/5/13 1:32pm shokran:

Rob, the encore was "The Most Beautiful Sea"
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