Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kiran Ahluwalia

Odd but interesting collaboration between an Indo-Canadian classicist and the Tuareg blues band Tinariwen, reviewed yesterday at Blurt.

Kiran Ahluwalia
Aam Zameen: Common Ground
(Avokado Artist)

Kiran Ahluwalia is an upper class Punjabi who grew up mostly in Toronto, fascinated at an early age with the ghazal, a form of poetry (and singing) fascinated with love and loss, but couched in sophisticated, literary written language. Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, by contrast, grew up in the deserts of Northern Mali, watched his father killed by rebels at the age of 4, drifted in and out of refugee camps, fought for Quaddafi's Libyan army as a young man and broke finally out of the most abject poverty into international stardom with the desert blues band Tinariwen. You could hardly imagine two life stories more different, and yet, the two meet here in sinuous hand-drummed rhythms and droning, hypnotic textures. Aam Zameen: Common Ground finds an unlikely meeting place between Malian proto-blues and Indian classical traditions.


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