The typical image of the Middle East today is a teeming city or an empty desert landscape. Scoring this landscape is a seductive music built on a few simple instruments like the oud, the ney flute, goatskin drums like the doumbec and the darbuka, and the characteristic sinuous vocals.
It's an ecstatic contemplative music, influenced by a host of neighboring cultures: Greek, Indian, Byzantine, Arabic, Persian, Mesopotamian, Kurdish and North African. It's built on trance-like rhythms, some (no doubt) derived from the area's nomadic past, when camel caravans were the main method of travel and commerce. Over the years, the steady rhythm of the journey and elegant curves of the desert worked their way into the soul of the music.
On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we return to the romantic trans-cultural sound of the Middle East, on a program called DESERT CARAVAN. Music is by MICHEL BANABILA, STELLAMARA, ELIYAHU SILLS, AZAM ALI, STEVE SHEHAN, and MERCAN DEDE