Magazine article New Internationalist

Amerli

Magazine article New Internationalist

Amerli

Article excerpt

Amerli

by Refugees for Refugees (Muziekpublique 07, CD + digital)

What can musicians do to alleviate Europe's refugee crisis? In terms of realpolitik, the answer is, sadly, very little. However, what they can do is send their voices and their sounds out into the world in the hope of sympathetic hearing and this powerful album, crowdfunded in Belgium, deserves to be heard.

Refugees for Refugees is what it says: the musicians who play on it are all refugees who have made new lives in Belgium. Simply and beautifully, they play together. The instrumentation, languages and style across the 14 tracks are hugely varied, and that's part of the immense charm of this enterprise.

It's hard to single out highlights. Certainly, the Tibetan songs that bookend the album are two. Dolma Renqingi (vocals) and Kelsang Hula (dramyen, a seven-stringed lute) launch the album with a rendering of the traditional Tibetan song 'Chomolungma', which describes Mount Everest: it's a spacious, airy production, given an extra framing by the marvellous Pakistani sarod player Asad Qizilbash. …

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