Andy Kershaw and Lucy Duran explore the music of desert communities, visiting Dubai, the Gobi desert in Mongolia and the far south of Algeria.
For this major series to accompany BBC One's 'Human Planet', Andy Kershaw and Lucy Duran go in search of music from some of the world's remotest, and more familiar locations, visiting many of the places featured in the TV series. This week the focus is on the music of desert communities. Producers: James Parkin and Roger Short. 2/8
Dubai: Andy Kershaw meets the first Emirati singer to record an album in Urdu - a significant moment in Dubai where some 65% of the population are Sub-continent migrant workers. He also visits the labour camps where they live, marvels at an indoor ski resort and climbs the tallest building in the world. Plus there's a session from Desert Heat who deliver their rap in traditional Emirati dress.
Mongolia: Lucy Duran travels deep into the Gobi desert, sets up a recording studio in a ger (traditional Mongolian tent, known in Russia as a yurt) and records various styles of desert song, including the extraordinary two-tone throat singing. Plus there are songs of Holy Mountains in one of the remostest parts of the Gobi desert, and a young artist from Ulaanbaatar who combines throat singing with beat-boxing.
Algeria: Andy Kershaw travels to the far south of Algeria and the small town of Djanet. He marvels at the beauty of this vast desert and listens to music inspired by the Sahara. He meets and records the Bali family and finds them mourning the recent death of their father - who drowned in the desert.
Key moments for the series include a traditional head-hunting song from New Ireland in Papua New Guinea; the mighty voice of Greenland's greatest singer; yodelling in the Swiss Alps; rapping in Cambodia; an Inuit throat-singing duet, recorded by the frozen Arctic Sea; and the secret songs of Burma recorded in the jungle on the border with Thailand.