Explore the 3rd edition of Hidden Musics at Le Guess Who? 2022, aimed at deeply localized music

Explore the 3rd edition of Hidden Musics at Le Guess Who? 2022, aimed at deeply localized music

Wed Jul 20th
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In 2019, the concert series Hidden Musics originated between Le Guess Who?, Chris Eckman of Glitterbeat Records and GRAMMY Award-winning producer and writer Ian Brennan, from the shared belief that it is important to platform underrepresented artists, and magnify music produced far from the mainstream. In 2022, we are proud the present the third edition of the project live at Le Guess Who?. 

Hidden Musics is aimed at deeply localized music and features performances of musicians embedded in rich, often centuries-old musical traditions that have been developed with little or no outside influences. Below, you can explore the artists who are part of the project this year, ranging from a flamenco innovator, a collective of Jbala Sufi trance makers from Morocco, and a mistress of voice from Algeria. 


The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar

Photography: Cherie Nutting

Live at LGW22: Thursday 10 & Friday 11 November

Jajouka is the name of a hidden village in the Jebala foothills of northern Morocco. You won’t find it on any roadmap. But Jajouka is also the home of the tribe Ahl Serif, sometimes translated as The Saintly, because they are descended from an Arab healer called Sidi Hamid Sheich, whose shrine the Ahl Serif hold sacred. The tribal musicians’ fame derives from their preservation of music whose origins go back to antiquity. William Burroughs called The Master Musicians of Jajouka “the four thousand year-old rock and roll band.”

A collective of Jbala Sufi trance makers who are committed to creating a contemporary representation of a century-old musical tradition, The Master Musicians have been recorded many times over the years, often in collaboration with artists as diverse as Ornette Coleman and the Rolling Stones. Their latest album, ‘Dancing Under The Moon’, was beautifully recorded in situ in the Rif mountains in the autumn of 2019. Produced by long-time band leader Bachir Attar, and with all but one of the tracks going over ten minutes in length, it is made clear to the listener that these recordings are an accurate snapshot of this timeless ensemble, whose music is deeply hypnotic and earth-shatteringly intense. 


Nancy Mounir’s Nozhet El Nofous

Photography: Eslam Abd El Salam

Live at LGW22: Friday 11 November

Born in Alexandria and currently based in Cairo, Nancy Mounir is an artist of extraordinary versatility, which allowed her to leave a deep mark in Egypt’s alternative music scene. This year, she is re-introducing herself as a solo artist with 'Nozhet El Nofous' - a timeless, transcendental record which she will be performing with the Utrecht-based string quartet The Flare Quartet.

Leading up to the album, Mounir spent five years studying Egyptian singers from the early 20th century; artists whose compositions adventurously strode off the beaten path of mainstream Arabic music of the time. Mounir was inspired by the microtonality and the improvisational character of their works. 'Nozhet El Nofous' ended up featuring many unearthed archival records of these early 20th century, once-famed singers from Egypt, overlapped with Nancy Mounir's own ambient arrangements to otherworldly effect.


Ustad Noor Bakhsh

Live at LGW22: Friday 11 November

Hailing from the Pakistani province Balochistan, Ustad Noor Bakhsh is a master of the Balochi Benju (a type of zither fitted with a keyboard). He is also an expert at the Benju, a Japanese children's toy turned folk instrument by names like Bilawal Belgium and Misri Khan Jamali, whose legacies Noor Bakhsh carries forward around the world. Throughout the Makran Coast, his name is the stuff of legend - but he only recently garnered wider attention after recordings of his playing went viral online.

His repertoire includes Persian and Kurdish tunes that have probably floated in his land since before the modern borders of Iran and Pakistan were set up. He also renders popular and folk tunes in all the major languages spoken across Pakistan. His Sindhi repertoire is particularly novel in that it reflects a beautiful conversation between the neighbouring musical cultures of Sindh and Balochistan. 


Kaito Winse

Live at LGW22: Friday 11 November

Despite now being based in Brussels, Kaito Winse was raised in the village of Lankoué, in the Sourou Province of Burkina Faso. Brought up in a musical griot family, he has grown into a message bearer for his ancestors' spiritual artistry. Such is no easy feat, but on 'Kaladounia', the musician's first solo record, he does exactly that.

Making use of traditional instruments such as the tama drum, toutlé, Fulani flute, and mouth bow, Winse perpetuates his forefathers’ rich musical tradition as a modern jeli or griot himself - be it in Mooré or Samo (local Burkinabé languages) or French.


Lole Montoya

Live at LGW22: Saturday 12 November

A true innovator of flamenco, Spain’s history can be heard in Lole Montoya’s voice. Uncontained by the categories of ‘singer’ or ‘cantaora’, she emotionally discharges her spirit with unseen courage and technique. Her skill has been displayed across a long repertoire, which includes her work as one-half of the renowned duo Lole y Manuel, surely one of the most important musical duos in popular Spanish music. As husband and wife, they began their musical journey in the seventies and continued to re-shape the new flamenco scene, together and apart, until Manuel’s passing in 2015.

Montoya carries their ever-burning torch on the stage to this day. At Le Guess Who?, she will perform her solo work as well as the groundbreaking music of Lole y Manuel. She will be accompanied on stage by the acclaimed guitarist and composer Rycardo Moreno.


Cheikha Rabia & Esraa Warda

Live at LGW22: Saturday 12 November

Cheikha Rabia & Esraa Warda both hail from Algeria, but today, they live in opposite corners of the world. ‘mistress of voice’ Cheikha Rabia, a renowned singer with over 50 years of experience in keeping Bedouin vocal tradition alive and know for her androgynous deep tone and melodic blues, is based in Paris; Esraa Warda, a prolific dancer expert in traditional North African dance forms and whose life purpose is to revive the presence of Raï dancers and women, lives in New York.

When they come together, the diaspora divas provide a glimpse into the disappearing culture of ‘Cheikhat’ (female master singers/storytellers) and Raï, the Algerian "Rebel Blues"; a form of visceral storytelling of the marginalized that explores themes of love, loneliness, separation, nostalgia, the cup of oblivion, and night escapes. This is a powerful dance and song performance in which the ancestral and the contemporary find common ground.


Hidden Musics Art and Design by Axis Mundi (@ventralisgolden & @dimarabik

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