Next Music Station
Sudanese soundscapes
We discover how different musical expressions live together in the same land.
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2011 14:08

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

A year in production, with nine countries visited and more than 80 musicians interviewed, this series by musician and documentary filmmaker Fermin Muguruza paints a 'soundscape' of the Arab music scene.

From Morocco to the Gulf, 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 the second episode of this new series, we head to Sudan, a country now divided but still united by its music.

Journalist and TV reporter Nadeen Allauddin introduces us to music that emerges from the cultural and religious crossroads. Like the streams that feed the River Nile, Sudanese music is enriched by Eastern and Western influences creating soundscapes where the folklore music from the nomad tribes, traditional song, Sufi music, reggae, and contemporary rhythms, all coexist. 

Meet the musicians
Abdel Gadir Salim
This singer from Sudan's Nuba Mountains is well known for his traditional melodies played mainly at weddings and popular dances. He also creates his own style by combining the traditional with Egyptian music and ethnic tribal folklore sounds. His lyrics provide a snapshot into Sudanese culture. 
Lisa Shaker
Her soft, melodic voice fused with her guitar chords create a harmonious pop tune. Her serene sound where Eastern and Western music combine to accompany her lyrics which dream of a better world. She writes most of her lyrics, and others come from local and foreign artists. 
Alsahwa Band
This Sufi band updates religious songs that pray for Islamic spiritualism, with modern instruments, though the human voice remains the most important element. Their repertoire is full of ceremonious melodies, Islamic and national songs, that bring us to the faith.
Sharhabil Ahmed
This musician is the first in Sudan to have played the electric guitar. He currently holds the title 'King of Sudanese Jazz'. His distinct velvety voice, coupled with his eclectic musical repertoire makes him a popular figure on the world music stage.
Mohamed el-Khatin
After studying music at the Khartoum French Cultural Center, he wrote his first compositions that he accompanies with the guitar, drums and piano. His popular tunes have made him a hit at music festivals.
Nancy Agag
This singer and composer is part of a new generation of young female artists and has become an important figure in the Sudanese music scene. Her colourful melodies and fresh rhythms are influenced by Indian, Arab and Western music.
Ahmed Abdulrahman 'El Lord' 
This singer started writing songs and composing melodies while he was still at university. Songs written during that time went on to become ones he now plays to the public. His music belongs to the folk genre and the lyrics help this young songwriter to express himself.
Mojo Mustafa 
This charismatic Sudanese rap band are popular amongst the youth of Sudan. They try to break musical borders and reach international audiences by mixing soul, rhythm and blues with their own rhythmic recitation.
Ahmed Albana
He started his music career in 2000, when he began experimenting with different sounds to create his own compositions. His music and lyrics, sung in an Arab dialect, are mainly influenced by music from his birthplace in the United Arab Emirates.
Al Balabel
These three sisters hail from the Nubian Desert. They formed one of the first all-female bands in 1970s Sudan, encouraging other female singers to start their own careers. The pioneering trio called Al Balabel or "The Nightingales", recovered popular songs that were orally passed on from generation to generation, most of them connected to rituals and hundred-year-old ceremonies from the old Nubian civilisation.
Sudanese soundscapes aired from Tuesday, August 9, at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2000; Wednesday: 1200; Thursday: 0100; Friday: 0600; Saturday: 2000; Sunday: 1200; Monday: 0100; Tuesday: 0600.

Click here for more on the series.
Al Jazeera
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