Magazine article New Internationalist

Between the Desert and the Sea

Magazine article New Internationalist

Between the Desert and the Sea

Article excerpt

Music

Between the Desert and The Sea

by El Tanbura (World Village/Harmonia Mundi 450002 CD)

Hymns of praise can be - and often are - addressed to all manner of beloveds, but it's possible that 'The Canal Song' of Port Said group El Tanbura is the first time that the Suez Canal has been so apostrophized. 'It happened 50 years ago/ We nationalized our canal,' sing the Egyptian collective's two singers to an enthusiastic accompaniment, and the chorus agree: 'It is the greatest canal!'

Founded in 1989 by singer Zakaria lbrahim, El Tanbura -which includes master musicians, fisherfolk and philosophers among them - have clearly been around but, despite previous albums from the Parisian Institut du Monde Arabe and the US Calabash operation, this Harmonia Mundi-distributed work represents a much-needed access to the group. …

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