To mark the 10th anniversary of Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's death, journalist and film-maker Navid Akhtar examines the legacy of this musical megastar whose haunting voice enraptured millions across the globe and who successfully collaborated with countless top Western musicians.
It was American singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley who, in 1993, described Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan as "his Elvis". In this programme, Akhtar looks at how this musician of an art form distinctive to Northern India and Pakistan became a global superstar in his own right and the most famous artist to emerge from the sub-continent since Ravi Shankar.
Akhtar examines the impact Nusrat had on Asian culture in the UK and on the global music scene of the Eighties and Nineties. He tracks Nusrat's path from a long line of Qawwali musicians who sang devotional love songs at the shrines of the Sufi priests, to the voice on soundtracks of films directed by the likes of Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone and Tim Robbins.
And, through Akhtar's personal story, listeners learn how Nusrat's music enabled a young Pakistani teenager to connect to his own cultural background.
Contributors include Nitin Sawhney, Massive Attack's Robert Del Naja, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and Peter Gabriel.
Listen on BBC Radio 4 - Tuesday 21 August - 13.30 - 14.00.
August 16th 2007 is the 10th anniversary of the loss of one of the world's most outstanding vocalists - the great Sufi qawwal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Touched by genius, Nusrat was undoubtedly, spiritualy and technically, one of the greatest voices of his day as well as a visionary innovator who explored a new and daring contemporary musical language.
Some of Nusrat's greatest collaborative work with Wesstern music began with Peter Gabriel's soundtrack for Martin Scorcese's film 'The Last Temptation of Christ' - the ground breaking score 'Passion'. The long-standing relationship with Canadian producer/musician Michael Brook on the albums Mustt Mustt and Night Song introduced Nusrats music to another new audience. By the time he was to be heard as the key voice for the films Natural Born Killers and Dead Man Walking (with Eddie Vedder) he had reached the status of international superstar.
As Peter Gabriel said at the time Nusrat's passing: "I have never heard so much spirit in a voice. Nusrat was a supreme example of how far and deep a voice can go in finding, touching and moving the soul'.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan 1948-1997
The Zawose Family are featured in the latest edition of the BBC website Africa On Your Street.
The Tanzanian family are currently touring the UK for the first time carrying on the musical legacy of the late Hukwe Zawose. The tour coincides with the release of their documentary film and CD 'Small Things Fall From The Baobob Tree'
Click the link below to read the article in full and visit our tours section for details of performances.
If you think you know about English folk music, think again! The Imagined Village project, the brainchild of producer and musician Simon Emmerson, has recast age-old traditions in the shape of the twenty-first century. A daring mix of ancient and modern, The Imagined Village fuses fiddles and squeezebox with dub beats and sitars.
Now available exclusively online is the Imagined Village limited edition 4 Track EP, featuring an extraordinary array of talent - Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy, Sheila Chandra, Billy Bragg, Chris Wood and Simon Emmerson.
EP Track Listing:
1. 'England Half English Meets John Barleycorn' was recorded and mixed by producer Simon Emmerson with Billy Bragg featuring Martin Carthy and Eliza Carthy. The spirit of the track, with its meeting of two songs, seemed in perfect keeping with the overall sentiment of The Imagined Village project
2. 'Acres of Ground (Beats Mix)' is an original song by Eliza Carthy, based around old traditional counting songs. Created through collaboration between Simon Emmerson and mix engineer Mass in their London Studio and Ben Ivitsky and Eliza in their Scottish studio. Another version of this song which will appear on the final album in a very different guise.
3. 'Welcome Sailor', a beautiful atmospheric collaboration between Sheila Chandra and Chris Wood, is a recording based on Lal Waterson's traditional interpretation of the original folk tune. This track will appear on the forthcoming Imagined Village album.
4. 'Cold, Hailey, Rainy Night - It's Turned Out Nice Mix by Stabilizer' grew out of a challenge set by The Imagined Village project on the Real World Remix website . The idea was to take this track - Transglobal Underground's interpretation of Martin Carthy's original track - and re-mix it. This song has been passed down from generation to generation through the oral tradition of folk music. It has now been re-invented in a radical fashion by the mysterious, uniquely- talented Stabilizer!
Those who were lucky enough to survive the mud at this July's WOMAD Festival in Charlton Park and were in the Siam Tent on the Saturday night were witness to the premiere of the live show - for many festival-goers this was the gig of the weekend!
The name of Hukwe Zawose is legendary in East African music and beyond. His appearances at past WOMAD Festivals have become mythic, his recordings for Real World Records and his work with Peter Gabriel and Michael Brook established this great traditional artist in a contemporary context. Peter Gabriel said Hukwe Zawose's music was "some of the most beautiful music we have ever put out on Real World Records" and invited him to be the support act for the 2003 'Growing Up' tour of North America. This was to be Hukwe's last trip abroad. On returning to Tanzania at the end of that year he died suddenly of AIDS, followed only one year later by his young nephew and collaborator Charles Zawose.
In spite of the hardships this devastation has brought to the family, the music has survived - the house in Bagamoyo, Tanzania is still buzzing with sound, possibly more than before as conscious mortality makes what is left over even more sacred. There is a new energy in the family learning from the bad times and building for a better future for the whole family and its music - a music that will never be lost.
For the first time the new generation of the Zawose Family are touring the UK this summer (inclding WOMAD Charlton Park) . To celebrate the return of this inspirational family Real World has released a new CD. 'Small Things Fall From the Baobab Tree' traces the extraordinary legacy, as one musical legend passes and the door opens on a new era. Recorded at Real World Studios and at radio station in Seattle a number of these songs are the last ever recordings of the great Hukwe Zawose and his uniquely talented nephew Charles before their untimely deaths. The CD also introduces the voice of the new generation - the young Zawose Family - rapturous, joyous, polyphonic singing accompanying buzzing thumb pianos, soaring izeze fiddle and exuberant rhythms.
The CD will sold in support of the charitable Zawose Foundation and available mail order or at the band's live appearances this summer. More information about the Zawose family, the Foundation and a new documentary film about the Zawose story go to the link below.
Fans of Daby Touré can hear a wonderful interview with the man himself following he sell out Paris show at La Cigale in March this year. Daby talks about his performance, his album Stereo Spirit, his past and his future.
Daniel Brown interviews Daby on the Mondomix website.
The mesmerizing sound of hypnotic Saharan trance-blues - driving guitars, irresistible grooves, mysterious vocals - is now available to buy online. Pre-order ready for the release date on 23 July.
Find out more about the wonderful Toumast on the new website and, if you are lucky enough, you can catch them at WOMAD Charlton Park for their first UK performance on Friday 27 July.
Rising star of African music, the young Daby Touré has just been announced as the support act for Peter Gabirel at the festival Vielles Charrues, Carhaix, West France. The event has a great line up of music, including Toumast (newly signed to Real World outside of France).
Daby will also be performing at WOMAD Charlton Park on Friday 27 July - on the Saddlespan stage plus a special performance on the BBC Radio 3 Stage.
Coming soon to Real World Records and to a venue near you is The Imagined Village, an ambitious reinvention of the English Folk tradition, embracing the modern-day nation in all its cultural diversity. Fiddles and squeezebox breathe easily alongside electronica and ambient effects, ancestral songs are brilliantly updated with the sounds and voices of today.
You can get a preview of things to come, and become part of the village yourself over at Real World Remixed where 'Cold Hailey Rainy Night' has just been made available as a remix sample pack.
Simon Emmerson from The Imagined Village says "We are looking for the most Imaginative and inventive re-mix of one of England's oldest stories of love, sex and betrayal: Cold Hailey Rainy Night. This song has been passed down from generation to generation through the oral tradition of folk music. We are now passing it on to you in the Imagined Village of cyber space to be re-invented by the Real World Remix community.
Alongside Simon Emmerson the project features The Copper Family, Sheila Chandra, Benjamin Zephaniah, Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy, Paul Weller, Transglobal Underground, Tunng, Chris Wood, Billy Bragg, Tiger Moth, Gloworms, and the Dhol Foundation.
At last the epic stage production of Lord of the Rings opens in London. The Opening Night Performance of this, one of the most ambitious and stunning productions to come to the West End will take place on 19 July at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
The theatrical interpretation of Tolkein's momenteous books has been driven and created around the music co-composed by Värttinä and Indian composer A H Raman.
The Lord of the Rings previews at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London, began May 9. The packed house gave the show a standing ovation and reviews appeared in The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. Tickets are on sale from the link below.
Värttinä will be honoured for their important contribution to Finnish culture at a reception at the Finnish Embassy in London while they are in the city celebrating the Lord of the Rings premiere.
The group finish their visit to the UK with their concert in Exeter, the Corn Exchange, on June 21.