New Sounds from Arab Lands, a music group from Syria, Tunisia and Lebanon, may allow students to more closely access Arabic culture and develop an appreciation for an unconventional type of music, breaking stereotypes usually associated with the Middle East and exposing students to new world views, professors said.
The five-member group was formed by the Aga Khan Music Initiative, a collection of development networks that funds musicians from the Middle East.
“I have never heard music like theirs before,” music professor Ted Levin, who specializes in world music, said of the group’s work. “There is a kind of emotional rawness to it that is truly captivating.”
Levin is senior project consultant for the Aga Khan Foundation and frequently travels to central Asia to oversee music projects. Levin said he is passionate about the role the arts can play in strengthening civil society in countries where the form is endangered or still emerging.