Sunday, August 21, 2016

Musical Ecstacy: Khaira Arby and "Tarab"

Today's song is by Khaira Arby, often called the Queen of Desert Rock and also the Nightingale of the North. An artist from the northern deserts of Mali, she is a cousin to the great Ali Farka Touré. She uses a varied assortment of instrumentation, such as electric guitar, calabash, traditional violin, acoustic guitar and drumming, and she sings in languages such as Sonrai, Arabic and Tamashek. She is the only singer in her family, and started singing when she was eleven years old. Before working with her own band, she performed with the Troupe du Cercle de Tomboctou and later the Troupe Regionale de Gao. This song, Tarab, is from her 2013 release Timbuktu Tarab. Tarab refers to a hard to translate concept in Arabic music that gets toward the feeling, including ecstacy, that comes from listening to Arab music.