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WOMAD 2009 Featured Artist: Natacha Atlas (Egypt)

WOMAD 2009 Featured Artist: Natacha Atlas (Egypt/UK)

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World of Music Art and Dance 2009
13-15 March
Brooklands Park & TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth
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Musically and geographically, Natacha Atlas has always been an itinerant.

The Anglo-Egyptian singer has spent more than a decade fusing electronic beats with North African and Arabic music, finding links between seemingly disparate musical genres, exploring new and different sonic settings and working with a wealth of like-minded collaborators from across the world along the way.

The resulting body of work is both a triumph of true multiculturalism and a testament to the richness and accessibility of Arabic culture.

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Presiding over it all is Atlas’s extraordinary voice. Meltingly sensuous and gloriously passionate, delicate with melisma and microtones, it bridges Middle Eastern and Western styles with instinctive ease.

Her bold vision has seen her work with a wealth of like-minded collaborators, from Sinead O’Connor and Sarah Brightman, to avant-garde classical composer Jocelyn Pook, Jah Wobble’s Invaders of the Heart and London-based multicultural collective TransGlobal Underground.

Her albums keep changing directions, embracing everything from rap, drum ’n’ bass and dance music to R & B, Hindi pop and French chanson – sung in Arabic, English, Hindi and French – while always delving deeply into her Egyptian roots.

Meltingly sensuous and gloriously passionate, her soaring voice bridges Middle Eastern and Western styles with instinctive ease on her latest album Ana Hina, a contemporary classical affair that serves as a seductive reminder of Arabic music’s Golden Era of the late 1950s and 1960s.

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