The Orchestra of Tetouan, Morocco, performs classical Arab-Andalusian music live in our studio. The north Moroccan port city of Tetouan, just a few dozen miles by sea from the southern tip of Spain, became a refuge for Sephardic Jews and Muslims escaping the demise of the culturally rich Al-Andalus and the fall of Granada (the last Muslim city in Spain), in 1492. The music comes from centuries before that – as far back as the 9th Century - and can be traced to an Afro-Arab musician and poet, Ziryâb, a descendant of Persian slaves of African heritage. The Orchestra of Tetouan is still versed in the form of Andalusian classical music, the nawbat, a vocal and instrumental suite, which also incorporates European classical string instruments, like violin and viola. All members of the ensemble sing the centuries-old breathtaking love poetry with its complex beats and fluid melodies. Here’s an excerpt of the text in translation- "Your absence has increased my yearning and sleep has deserted my eyes. My character is still tender, until love makes it mortal."
Also huffduffed as…
Mihailova/Electrik Company/Do Make Say Think/Greenwood
Kyrgyzstani pianist Katya Mihailova takes on Chopin; Rock quartet Electric Kompany performs music by Jacob TV; Toronto-based indie band Do Make Say Think bring their own brand of eclectic music to the stage, and we hear the US premiere of Radiohead lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s "Popcorn Superhet Receiver for String Orchestra."
Lubman and the Wordless Music Orchestra/Torngat
Conductor Brad Lubman leads the Wordless Music Orchestra in John Adams’ "Christian Zeal and Activity"; Montreal band Torngat perform their own set, and the Wordless Music Orchestra returns for Gavin Bryars’ "The Sinking of the Titanic." Jad Abumrad hosts this program, which also features a conversation with conductor Brad Lubman.
For the third and final part of Soundcheck’s series on nostalgia in music, we’re exploring the business of reissues. Joining us is Amir Abdullah, label manager at Wax Poetics records, which focuses on rediscovering forgotten and obscure funk, soul and R&B albums from the 60s and 70s; and Allan Kozinn, music critic at the New York Times, about EMI’s plans to reissue the Beatles’ catalog in newly remastered versions, and about the classical reissues market. http://www.wnyc.org/shows/soundcheck/episodes/2009/04/17/segments/128919