Part 3 – Transit – Neil Van Der Linden

Many of the artists I looked at travelled or were fascinated by what is far away. Mahmood Schricker and Kamilya Jubran are emigrants, Wagner died in Venice, where you will be during the broadcast of this series, Kiran Ahluwalia is of Indian origin, born in Canada, living in New York with her Bangladeshi husband, singing Ghazals in Hindi, Urdu and Farsi, and here playing to tracks with Tinariwen, from the displaced Tuareg community in the North-Sahel region.

Each of the composers and performing musicians transforms principles from their backgrounds into something that turns into a new development, into experimental and evolutionary sounds.There are a number of Pakistani musicians whose sounds have been displaced or reinterpreted in a similar way. For example, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan who worked in London with Massive Attack (to mixed effect and not what I would consider his best work), Rahat Fateh Ali Khan who worked on the track we will hear with Rick Rubin, the producer of the first Beastie Boys album, Adele, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, and also in a dramatic way with Rahat he was able to make the recorded sound as clean and clear as possible. I have also included Abida Parveen who worked with the Coke Studio in Karachi.

You get this incredible fusion of origins and diverse sounds. Like smells, sounds neurologically are the primal sensatory impulses to trigger left traces of memory, and are readily used by artists to evoke things lost possibly forever or to be regained in some future. But together, with their newly found musical partners, each reach innovative ways to come to results that are more than just the sum of the original parts.

The Palestinians are the first flag bearers of displacement in the region since the Second World War, and this feeling is transformed by Tashweesh into art through their audio visual collages of sounds and images from either a dreamy or violent past with modern electronics. Their rapper Boikutt adopts these principles in his own sharp raps accompanied by a broad warm blanket of ambient sounds bringing the musical past of the region to memory combined with contemporary sharp beats. The listener is torn between listening to his lyrics and his cutting-edge evocative soundscapes; torn between two worlds, maybe, as I experience it.