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Monday, December 26

"Laila O Laila"

See how many types of musical instruments and styles you can spot in Rostam Mirlashari's 2013 version of this old Iranian love song for the Coke Studio Pakistan television series.  

Coke (yes, Coca-Cola) Studio Pakistan (which inspired an Indian version and one in MENA) has been facilitating a musical revolution that reminds me of the incredibly syncretic music called mbalax that arose in Senegal in the early 1970s. The roots are different in the present revolution but once musicians from widely different traditions from around the world start jamming together it's amazing what they can produce. 
[T]he program focuses on a fusion of the diverse musical influences in Pakistan, including eastern classical, folk, qawwali [Sufi], bhangra ... and contemporary hip hop, rock and pop music. The show provides a platform for renowned as well as upcoming and less mainstream artists, of various genres, regions and languages [in Pakistan], to collaborate musically in live studio recording sessions. [Wikipedia]
One note about the Irish fiddling music that finds its way into Laila O Laila. If, as some research suggests, the Celts originally hailed from the Indian subcontinent stretching into the Middle East, one might say that the fiddle solo for the song is the closing of a large musical circle.

Rostam Mirlashari's own musical history reflects a syncretic influence. From Wikipedia:
Mirlashari grew up in Sistan-Baluchistan, a province of Iran, and was inspired by his parents who were both singers. He studied civil engineering, worked in the building industry, and was a director of a construction company in Minab
In 1991, the political situation and fear for his life in Balochistan convinced him to leave Iran and move to Sweden. In 1994 he established a band made up of a mix of musicians from Balochistan, Sweden, Africa and a few European countries. He called the band Golbang (pronounced Gol-bāng).
He is an active musician and considers himself to be a member of both Swedish culture and the Baloch one.  Mirlashari also studied at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm
According to Pakistan Idol, he is known as "the prince of Balochi music."
Laila O Laila - YouTube. Click on the "CC" (subtitles/closed captions) button on the YouTube screen for English translation of the lyrics.

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