The good, the bad and the ugly

Inuit hunters in the Artic regions know they catch most by watching the edges. The CD Call to Prayer. This juxtaposes music from Marin Marais, Antoine Forqueray, and Jean de Sainte-Colombe with classical Arab maqams and Indian Dhrupad ragas. It is the work of respected early music specialist, viol player and Hathor Consort director Romina Lischka and Tunisian mondo-musician, singer, dancer, poet and actress Ghalia Benali, and this very good album has enough edge to satisfy any Intuit hunter. Which is why I am recommending it. Also worth catching is Ghalia Benali's CD Dhrupad Fantasia which interweaves the modality of Indian ragas with the polyphony of Tudor England.

Edge of a very different kind is delivered by Moroccan author and painter Mahi Binebin's novel Horses of God. It uses the first person voice of Yachine, a boy growing up in the Casablanca slums, to tell how together with his friends he was radicalised and coerced into becoming a suicide bomber. Horses of God has justifiably won a stream of awards including the Prix du Romane Arabe and English Pen Award. Mahi Binebine tells of events very bad and ugly. The story needs telling and he tells it very well. Just two examples of how the most rewarding catches are found at the edge.


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