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Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Documentary telling the story of the British world music revolution from the early 1980s to the present. Through a variety of careers, starting with Zimbabwe's Bhundu Boys and culminating with Portugal's Mariza in the new millennium, the film explores what it takes to bring music from 'out there' over here.

Through the testimony of artists from all around the world alongside key British producers and broadcasters including Andy Kershaw, Joe Boyd and Nick Gold, it tracks the evolving story of what British audiences have wanted from what has come to be called 'world music' and what a range of artists including Les Mystere des Voix Bulgares, Salif Keita, Youssou N'Dour, Baaba Maal, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Buena Vista Social Club and Tinariwen have made of us.

At the dawn of the 80s, in an age of spandex and synthesizers, many music fans were becoming bored with the pop charts and hungered for a new music that could excite them once again. Where music from the rest of the world had once been regarded as mere exotica, there was increasingly a sense that world music could be the future of pop music.

The documentary traces the hopes and ambitions of a new music industry as cultures came together for the first time, producing much brilliant music and a degree of human comedy.

From the tribal warriors of Mali who fought in rebellions with guitars and guns strapped to their shoulders, all-female choirs from the other side of the Iron Curtain playing to rock fans, a band from Zimbabwe who supported Madonna to a group of old men from Cuba who took the world by storm with their music from another era, these tales from musicians from out there arriving over here trace an evolving market that has both offered a blueprint for the future and an escape into a romantic past.

Last on

Mon 26 Aug 2013 00:35 BBC Four

Music Played

48 items
  • BBC Four: World Music Season

    Salif Keita

    This programme is part of BBC Four's World Music Season.

    From afrobeat to zydeco via juju, panpipes and Uzbek folk, this is the story of the music that broadened our horizons. 

Credits

Executive Producer
Mark Cooper
Producer
Ellen Hobson
Director
Ellen Hobson

Broadcasts

A-Z of World Music

Mariza

Find out more about the companion programme featuring performances from over 40 acts.

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