Magazine article New Internationalist

Ya Balad

Magazine article New Internationalist

Ya Balad

Article excerpt

Ya Balad by Bachar Mar-Khalife (InFine/Warp CD, LP + download, IF1033)

Ya Balad translates from the Arabic as 'eOh Homeland'f. But, as its creator, the Paris-based Lebanese musician Bachar Mar-Khalife realizes, the very concept of homeland is not so simple. Is homeland a place, a memory, a scent? The idea of home is a potent one in art and politics and the absence of a safe place is a powerful instigation to creativity. It'fs possible that this is one reason why the album'fs title song has few lyrics, other than an urgent phrase that eventually dies in a murmur.

Ya Balad is a dramatic album, employing a passionate voice that soars above keyboards and percussion. It is dominated by piano and voice, from the pointillist reduction of 'eYa Balad'f to the frenetic excursions on the album'fs opener, a Kyrie Eleison unlike any one you have ever heard and one which calls for interfaith peace. …

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