Through the miracle of digital technology, the long-lost songs of Palestine are emerging from the shadow of Israeli military occupation, according to Khaleej.com.
A CD compilation of traditional folk songs, which have been sung by generations of Palestinians, has just been released under the title The Lost Songs of Palestine.
The CD features both solo improvisations (taqsim) as well as ensemble works (both vocal and instrumental) representing traditional Palestinian urban and village music, says Khaleej.com.
Some of the songs are found in other parts of the Arab World, where they are sung in popularized versions. But for Western audiences, The Lost Songs of Palestine is a new opportunity to learn about the culture and rich musical heritage of an ancient people.
The CD has been created by the western Massachusetts-based group Anatolia – formed in 1994 to increase awareness of Turkish and Arabic folk and dance music through concerts, recordings, workshops and lectures. The group's debut CD, Folk Songs and Dance Music of Turkey and the Arab World, was released in 1996.
Anatolia’s talents have earned them wide acclaim from both ethnomusicologists and audiences at sold-out performances throughout New England and internationally.
Members of the group include Edward Hines ('ud, divan sazi, kaval, clarinet, zurna and vocals), Taner Okatan (saz, percussion and vocals), Michel Moushabeck (percussion) and Jamal Sinno (kanun).
Since its inception, Anatolia has presented concerts at major US colleges and universities, festivals (Balkan Night, A Taste of Northampton, Boston International Festival), at notable music halls (The Iron Horse, Full Moon Coffee House, Passims) as well as public schools throughout New England.
The group appeared with the world renowned Simon Shaheen in a concert of music and dance from Turkey and the Arab World at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Last May, Anatolia toured the Republic of Singapore, where they performed as part of the World Music Concert and then toured and lectured in Singapore schools.
Anatolia has also performed with outstanding artists of Dans Oriental including Jajouka, Jehan Kamal, Morocco, Nourhan Sharif, Habiba and the Crescent Dancers.
In 1999, Anatolia contributed a soundtrack of music to a BBC/WGBH documentary on Islam which aired as part of the award-winning series The People's Century. This was followed a couple of years later by the self titled album Anatolia, a debut anthology featuring 11 pieces which include both solo improvisation and ensemble works. The Lost songs of Palestine is another move by the group to help people understanding the rich cultural heritage of the Palestinian people – Albawaba.com
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