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Next Music Station
Lebanon: The evolution of traditional music
Using music to build bridges of understanding between the East and the West.
Last Modified: 25 May 2011 12:22

Next Music Station is an odyssey through the rhythms of the Arab world.

Travelling through nine countries and meeting more than 80 musicians, this series by musician and documentary filmmaker Fermin Muguruza paints a 'soundscape' of the Arab music scene.

Next Music Station takes us on a journey, exploring the music of different Arab countries, en route addressing issues of tradition and modernity, the struggles of the present and the yearning for a brighter future.

In episode five we travel to Lebanon where Deborah Phares, a graphic designer and photographer, introduces us to voices and sounds emerging from Arab traditional and folklore music.  

The evolution of traditional music brings us to music genres such as pop, rock, rap or alternative rock - all styles used to build bridges of understanding between the East and the West. 

Meet the musicians
Wadhi al-Safi
Wadhi al-Safi is also known as The Lebanon Cedar. The music from his home town is filled with poetry and praise for human rights. Al-Safi's voice and his famous mawals have travelled around the world. He has sung in different languages such as Arabic, French, Portuguese and Italian and his art has been recognised at important international festivals.
Ghada Shbeir

Ghada Shbeir's voice makes the ancient Syriac chants of the Maronite religion into a contemporary tune. These chants are, in most cases, performed without instruments, just as they were originally created. Through careful research, Ghada has recovered thousands-year-old compositions which allude to Christmas, the Virgin Mary and Christ's passion and resurrection.

Assi el-Helani
Since the 1990s Assi el-Helani is considered one of the most important figures of the Middle East music scene. His music career started at the age of 17 when he won the Art Studio TV Program prize for young artists. Since then el-Helani has released around 20 records such as Lihali Amshi and Shoaq el-Sahara, which have seen great success.
Michel Elefteriades
Artist and record producer, Michel Elefteriades is well known for his eclectic style. He has produced the riskiest music experiments in the Arab World. He is the master of fusing sounds and languages from different cultures. The result of this fusion is a melting pot where Arab, Latin and flamenco sounds and rhythms are mixed up proving once again that music is beyond borders or limits.
Marcel Khalife

Marcel Khalife's songwriting has spread across the Arab music world, providing important contributions such as the renewed use of the oud, the composition of movie soundtracks or the execution of intercultural projects which use the music as a channel for a better understanding between Islam and the West. His songs, inspired in Mahmoud Darwish poems, give the Palestinian people the opportunity to have their voice heard.

I-VOICE

Mohamed el-Turk is the lead rapper of I-VOICE. He still lives at the Borj el-Barajneh refugee camp where he was born 21 years ago. There the Palestinian singer set up his own music studio where he has recorded his first album I-VOICE, whose title is a play on words. He talks in this album about the daily situation of Palestinian people.  

Soumaya Baalbaki
Soumaya Baalbaki brings to the present old tango songs with Arab influences. Her voice creates a new music expression full of emotion. Her new rhythms try to show the Lebanese youth a part of their country's musical history.
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Next Music Station
airs at the following times GMT each week: Tuesday: 2000; Wednesday: 1200; Thursday: 0100; Friday: 0600; Saturday: 2000; Sunday: 1200; Monday: 0100; Tuesday: 0600.

Click here for more on the series.
Source:
Al Jazeera
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