I was listening to BBC radio 6 recently and was enjoying Cerys Matthews Sunday show whilst attending to the delicate procedure of an eggs benedict, when I had to stop what I was doing. The incredible voice belonging to a Lebanese-French singer floated across the airwaves. It was startling; their was an ode to gypsy jazz singers from a long-forgotten france but the music was arabic and orchestral at the same time. It was something unique.
I scrambled to find out the name of the singer, my eggs benedict transformed to a lacklustre sagging soggy yolk; Bachar Mar-Khalife. He is a Lebanese composer and singer brought up in France after his family fled the civil war in Lebanon. His father too is a singer and well known composer, famous for playing the exotic oud.
Check out this article for more on Bachar, and watch the video – but as it says its NSFW!
The session with Cerys is a testament to BBC 6 Music’s continued excellence of finding diverse, beautiful musicians – and must be enjoyed; please listen and relish here.
The rest of this post is meandering so feel free to exit now, you read on at your own existential danger.
To compliment the music of both Bachar and father Marcel Khalife, it is essential that one reads One Thousand and One Nights, the arabic folk-tales that are an infusion of magic, mythical stories that will take you on a voyage far from the comfy suburban existence that too many of us exist in.
To venture down this path is to find a new existence and it is only with the unparalleled power of the subjective will to gain the essence of the existence of the earth and ‘god’ that permeates through every blackened heart, that we will finally find peace and sanctity. And here is the calling; culture. Culture from the shores of the arabian world can heal our wounds and sing lullabies in our ears, in a time where hatred towards the arabian culture is at its most frenzied, it is essential that we fill ourself with the riches this culture fostered; it may be aladdin’s lamp or sinbad’s voyage or it may be a greater discovery of the self through this world, ultimately it is the essence of forgotten worlds.
Find your incense, fill your brain with dreams full of deserts and mystical omens, and then lie your head on a jewel-encrusted pillow and listen to Bachar.
That’s it for now. Musical Tears, Tom.