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The mournful music of a lost civilisation
"This drum is like a story in which lives all the joy and sorrow of the Nubian people. I tell our tales and legends with this drum. The rhythms make me grieve. It makes me hear the sound of the Nile, the voices of souls in the water." The received wisdom of rock'n'roll dictates that drummers are the least articulate, most monosyllabic members of any band. Yet these deeply poetic words, expressed by Gamal from the Nubian group Nuba Nour, show it not to be a completely watertight rule. And while many of Nuba Nour's songs are shot through with melancholy and regret (often referencing the construction of the Aswan Dam which flooded Nubian homelands in southern Egypt, effectively drowning an ancient civilisation), there's also an undeniable celebrative edge some of the group's music, a salute to their refusal to let their cultural heritage slide into extinction, through the medium of frame drums, oud and ensemble voices.
(Biography written by Nige Tassell 2012)