WASHINGTON (Aug. 3, 2006)–National Geographic World Music is offering consumers a chance to experience the soundtrack of the world — at zero cost. With a free download from a select artist each week, National Geographic World Music (WorldMusic.NationalGeographic.com) encourages consumers to sample music from different regions of the globe.
“Free downloads will not only expose audiences to incredible artists from around the world but will also give artists the recognition they deserve,” said David Beal, internationally known musician, composer and former executive at Palm Pictures, who has been working on the launch of National Geographic’s music initiative for the past year.
The first featured selection, available immediately, comes from the Mali group, Tinariwen, with “Oualahila ar Tesninam” — a scorching blast of desert rock from the edge of the Sahara. The Malian guitar-slingers are former Tuareg rebels who put down their guns, picked up guitars and changed the face of African rock ‘n’ roll.
Inspired by the music of Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and others, Tinariwen picked up electric guitars to express their own reality. Tinariwen was born in 1982 in a barracks in a Libyan training camp for Tuareg rebels. The self-taught guitarists transposed riffs from such traditional instruments as the teherdent lute to the enduring symbol of youth rebellion, the electric guitar. The musicians began writing raw, original compositions that spoke of exile and refugee life. At the time, Tinariwen — or Taghreft Tinariwen, as the band was originally called — was inventing an entirely new musical tradition to reflect the reality of the musicians’ lives. They named this new music tishoumaren, which translates simply as “guitar.”
WorldMusic.NationalGeographic.com launched in July 2006, is a comprehensive Web that supports National Geographic’s aim of inspiring people to care about the planet. World Music is an immersive and interactive environment that celebrates traditional and nontraditional music from around the globe through music, stories and video.
World Music provides media-rich features, breaking music news and celebrity DJ playlists. It offers discovery of music by artist, region or genre while serving as an important distribution outlet for artists and labels. National Geographic’s World Music content is programmed by recognized music experts under the supervision of Tom Pryor, former editor of Global Rhythm magazine. Together with Calabash Music, LinkTV, Afropop Worldwide and Global Rhythm, National Geographic’s site allows listeners to preview and purchase thousands of tracks.
About National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 350 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and four other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; radio programs; films; books; videos and DVDs; maps; and interactive media. National Geographic has funded more than 8,000 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, visit nationalgeographic.com.