Over the last 35 years we've broadcast some 31 programs inspired by the evocative, intensely moving music of North Africa and the Middle East. And almost every time, I've added a disclaimer that these programs have nothing to do with the contentious politics of the region. After all, these are some of the oldest cultures on earth, with complex, artistically evolved musical traditions. But in one sense, politics has made a difference. The political ferment has led to a diaspora of hundreds of the region's best musicians, who now live and work in France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Canada, and the U.S.
From the relative safety and stability of western cities, nostalgia for their homelands has produced what poet HAKIM BEY memorably called "romantic transcultural exile music of the Middle East." These creative fusions of Arabic, North African, Persian and electronic music stand as living examples of cultural tolerance and communication.
I'm Stephen Hill and on this transmission of Hearts of Space, we return to the superheated spaces of the Middle East and North Africa, on a program called DESERT SOUL 2.
Music is by MICHEL BANABILA & MEHMET POLAT, RHO UTASATO, YUVAL RON ENSEMBLE, MAHSA VAHDAT, PETE NAMLOOK & BURHAN OÇAL, ALEX KHASKIN, DHAFER YOUSSEF, ANOUAR BRAHEM, MERCAN DEDE, and OMAR FARUK TEKBILEK.