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Diving for pearls flourished in the coastal waters of Bahrain in the 19th century. The music made by these seamen carries on even though the cultivation of pearls has waned. FIDJERI-SONGS OF THE PEARL DIVERS presents a vanishing tradition of choral music. Fidjeri, a musical term for "all sea musics" in Bahrain, consists mainly of vocal performances, dance movements, and various percussion. An ecstatic energy erupts on "Khrab, Sidi, Meydaf, Jeeb" as clapping, drumming, small cymbals, and empty water jars encircle the lead vocalist. There are complex choral rhythms on "Adsani" meant to recall the sound of pulling the rope of an anchor. With soaring wails and crisp frame drums, "Duwari, Ashaari, Khatfat-Shra" sends one into another time and place. FIDJERI: SONGS OF THE PEARL DIVERS is a rewarding collection that will appeal to listeners who are interested in the work of Alan Lomax and the development of Middle Eastern music.

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