Posted by: John McGerr | March 30, 2009

World Music


Over the years many familair artists in this part of the world have incorporated music from other cultures and traditions into their own. Paul Simon featured African groups and musicians on his Graceland album, Ginger Baker and Peter Gabriel also featured African musicians. Brian Eno and David Byrne added Middle Eastern chants and singers to their ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’ album. This sparked my interest in hearing music from other countries. I wasn’t sure just hwere to start so I chose compilations, like ‘Holding Up Half the Sky – voices of African women’, African Tranquility and Desert Blues Volume 2. I also picked up ‘The World Music Box’ featuring not only African, but Asian, Pacific, European and American performers with a mixed collection of  somehwat familiar and somewhat distinctive tunes. My sister, on one of her trips home from Singapore, introduced me to the Croatian band Cubismo(Not all from Croatia as I later found out). Cubismo played the music of Cuba and Latin America. From her I also got my first taste of the flamenco influenced French group, the Gipsy Kings.  While in Singapore myself I found a Swiss group called the Bandari Orchestra who played very tranquil, relaxing tunes. I have only started to listen to these artists but these are some I hope to hear more of  in the future – Ladysmith Black Mambazo(South Africa),  Miriam Makeba(South Africa), Telek(Papua New Guinea), Afro Celt Sound System(Ireland and Africa), Vusi Mahlasela(South Africa), Youssou N’Dour(Senegal),  Angelique Kidjo(Benin), Geoffrey Oryema(Uganda), Illapu(Chile),  Hedningarna(Sweden) and last but not least, a group my brother introduced me to, from Holland, called Within Temptation

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