Filed under Features

Dispatch from Beirut

Dispatch from Beirut

Alexandra Petropoulos visits the Lebanese capital and finds a thriving arts scene despite ongoing political uncertainty and neighbouring unrest Continue reading

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GRRRL Power

GRRRL Power

Alexandra Petropoulos speaks to the collective of women who are tackling the gender imbalance in music and inspiring younger generations Continue reading

My World: Tim Dowling

My World: Tim Dowling

This feature originally appeared in Songlines #135 (March 2018) p72. Download a pdf here. Alexandra Petropoulos speaks to the Guardian columnist and author about the banjo and the music that helped him uncover the instrument’s history “One of the greatest things about me is that I’m one of Britain’s slowest banjo players,” Tim Dowling chuckles. The charming, self-deprecating … Continue reading

Warsaw Village Band  – Pagan Punk

Warsaw Village Band – Pagan Punk

This feature originally appeared in Songlines #126 (April 2017) p32. Download a pdf here. Warsaw Village Band’s latest album is a musical experiment in search of connections between cultures while paying homage to the sun. Alexandra Petropoulos speaks to the band’s frontman and percussionist Maciej Szajkowski about the strong pagan themes that run through it Ritual fires, spirits, … Continue reading

Soapbox: Sacred Music

Soapbox: Sacred Music

This feature originally appeared in Songlines #122 (Nov 2016) p105. Download a pdf here. Alexandra Petropoulos ponders the challenges of performing and listening to sacred music onstage as entertainment, away from its original contexts Beneath a canopy of brightly coloured fabrics, all glowing in the black light, I stood utterly entranced by what was happening … Continue reading

My World: Corinne Bailey Rae

My World: Corinne Bailey Rae

This feature originally appeared in Songlines #119 (July 2016) p74. Download a pdf here. Alexandra Petropoulos speaks to the Leeds singer-songwriter about her journey to rediscover happiness and the music she found along the way There is a genuine enthusiasm that radiates from Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae as she speaks to me. Her joie de vivre is … Continue reading

Sona Jobarteh – Modern Griot

Sona Jobarteh – Modern Griot

This feature originally appeared in Songlines #118 (June 2016) p36. Download a pdf here. Alexandra Petropoulos speaks to Gambian kora player Sona Jobarteh about the musical journey that has taken her through traditional griot music and Western classical performance, and how it led to the creation of her country’s first school dedicated to Mande music Sunjata Keita watches … Continue reading

My World: Yann Tiersen

My World: Yann Tiersen

This feature originally appeared in Songlines #117 (May 2016) p74. Download a pdf here. Alexandra Petropoulos speaks to the French composer and musician Yann Tiersen, ahead of his dates at London’s Barbican, about his Breton roots and how the natural world is the inspiration behind his current project (Photo: Katherine Rose) For some, music is … Continue reading

Syrian refugees reveal their heartache through music

Syrian refugees reveal their heartache through music

This feature originally appeared on The Guardian on February 1, 2016. View original post here. Homesick and heartsick residents of Jordan’s vast Zaatari refugee camp sing of their sadness at exile Just a few kilometres east of Mafraq, Jordan, the Zaatari refugee camp stretches over five sq km towards the Syrian border. Originally established as a … Continue reading

Songs of the Syrian refugees

Songs of the Syrian refugees

This feature originally appeared on the Songlines website. In a place where freedom of speech easily gets you arrested, refugees have daringly turned to music and poetry in order to express their feelings. Alexandra Petropoulos reports With his brow furrowed in concentration, Abu Abdullah rhythmically strums his oud, exploring the core of a melancholic melody. … Continue reading