Mac

Bits about software development, and about some other forms of art too...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Culture Mix

As my friends know perhaps too well, I have the greatest difficulties to stand traditional music. No prejudice here : take any album of Raï, música de cobla, Kulning or Kan ha diskan and you can get me bored in no time. To death. That is only if I'm lucky, of course, because everyone is at the mercy of a sneaky pipe playing attack (I know I have been). Thus the rather famous English definition of a Scottish gentleman :

A man who knows how to play the pipes, and does not.

And I won't even link to Sardinian polyphonies. I am a true son of globalized music, one raised with The Beatles (don't thank me for this link) and now a humble worshiper of Róisín Murphy (but you already knew about this, didn't you ?).

But when I heard (the sweet sweet) Berry sing with Youss Banda last week, I was reminded of how great and hypnotic a simple mixture of traditional and pop music can be :

I think I have a photo somewhere where I can be seen playing the guitar in the Turkish country (it must have been near Istanbul), along with a local shepherd playing a flute. It was more than 15 years ago, but I remember vividly playing a theme based on We Got Married on which he had a great improvisation session. Music was our common language (his English was as good as my Turkish), even though our styles where so different. I had a similar experience in Bruxelles a couple of years ago with North-African immigrants playing the drums in the street. We had a great culture mix jam session that could have lasted for hours, had the police not interrupted us (it was 7am, and music seems to be considered as noise at this time of day).

So I gathered a playlist of my favorite mixed culture songs, and I realized they could easily fit in a playlist of my favorite songs :

And if you listen carefully, I think you can even hear pipes in some of them.

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