During the 2011 revolution, Libya’s underground musicians emerged to help free their country from Gaddafi’s rule.
Check out this 2015 film. Music and politics go hand in hand. Stronger than Bullets directed by American Matthew Millanintroduces the musicians who are free to play at last, and follows them as they stand shoulder-to-shoulder, guitar to rifle, alongside rebel fighters.
The love he showed for the instrument as a child led him to the life as a prodigy who left Iran in 1981 after the 1979 Islamic Revolution so he could continue his musical studies. He is renowned as a soloist and composer and as a founder and member of several ensembles, including Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, with which we see him rehearsing one of his compositions in the film. In 1997 he returned to Iran to renew his connections to his homeland and to teach a new generation of musicians, while establishing a life with his wife. His existence was that of a prolific, peaceful, globetrotting musician.
The road movie Streets of Cairowas made and produced by Mohamed Badawi (Sudan) and Hubl Greiner (Germany) in January 2007, when both of them recorded at the studio of the Cairo Academy of Music at the University Asyout. The soundtrack is from Mohamed Badawi’s CD D’Omdurman à Timimoun.
When James Brown died almost exactly two years ago, I still lived in Tokyo, Japan. His death was a shock for me because he was one of the few musicians I loved to play with.
Other musicians were Elvin Jones (John Coltrane’s drummer) whom I met in Tokyo where he invited me and my sax to his birthday party at BB KING’s. However, due to my mother’s illness, I was unable to attend. The next year, Jones left the world unexpectedly.
Another musician I wanted to meet and play with was the Malian “desert” blues guitarist Ali Farka Toure. I missed my chance to meet him in Mali in 2004, when Salif Keita invited me to appear with him at a concert – commemorating his appointment as UN ambassador for Culture and Sport. Unfortunately, I was so busy with Keita that I had no time to make the trip to see Ali Farka Toure in Timbuktu. Two years later he died too – in the same year as James Brown.