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THE TEAM Editor-in-chief Simon Broughton Publisher Paul Geoghegan Editor Jo Frost Deputy Editor Alexandra Petropoulos Art Director Paul Carpenter Subs & Online Manager Edward Craggs Advertisement Manager James Anderson-Hanney Podcast Producer Nasim Masoud Reviews Editor Matthew Milton News Editor Nathaniel Handy Listings Editor Tatiana Rucinska World Cinema Editor Yoram Allon Production Consultant Dermot Jones Financial Controllers Iwona Perucka & Stevie Good Contributing Editors Jane Cornwell, Mark Ellingham & NigelWilliamson Cover Photo Andy Morgan

Queuing early in the morning to get a copy of Charlie Hebdo in London last month was a fascinating experience. Charlie Hebdo was in hot demand. And the Pope and deride religious hypocrisy. My favourite cartoon in the ‘survivors issue’ depicted the two gunmen of the Paris attack arriving

The reply comes everybody had their own reasons to be there. Je Suis Charlie in my support of the right to depict Mohammed, criticise the Pope and deride religious hypocrisy. My favourite cartoon in the ‘survivors issue’ depicted the two gunmen of the Paris attack arriving in heaven and saying ‘So where are the 70 virgins?’ The reply comes from a distant cloud: ‘They’re over there with the Charlie guys.’ The lead editorial in Charlie Hebdo was ultimately a call for secularism. While much of religion might be considered hypocrisy, I don’t see why anyone should insist on secularism – or force anyone to follow any religion. What is undeniable is that so much of the world’s great music is religious. All the masterpieces of Christian music from Bach’s Passions to Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the songs of the Camino de Santiago and Mahalia Jackson. The glorious Buddhist chants and the Hindu songs of Radha and Krishna. The Hasidic nigunim and Jewish piyyutim of Shabbat. And in the Islamic world, the supreme puri‡ of the call to prayer itself, and the richness of devotional music from Pakistani qawwali to Moroccan Gnawa ceremonies. I might not be a believer in God, but I am a believer in sounds that are divine in their inspiration. Where are the musical monuments to secularism?

In fact everything I’ve listed above is staple fare at the Fes Festival of Sacred Music (such as the St Ephraim Choir from Hungary, pictured right). And we’ve got a feature on Gnawa music this issue (see p40). As Ramadan has now reached mid-June to mid-July, it means that some of the great music festivals in the Islamic world have shi”ed their dates, because during Ramadan, Muslims shouldn’t be distracted from their devotions to God. So for most musicians, Ramadan is a quiet month. But curiously the Egyptians have different ideas and my musician friends in Cairo tell me that a”er sunset during the latter part of Ramadan is one of their busiest times, playing for parties to break the fast. Let’s celebrate the differences and call not for secularism, but for tolerance.


I might not be a believer in God, but I am a believer in sounds that are divine in their inspiration

Simon Broughton, editor-in-chief


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ROB ADAMS Rob is the long-time roots music and jazz correspondent for The Herald in Glasgow. He’s written for newspapers and magazines and contributed to books. This issue he delves into Shoogleni˜y’s career (p48).

KEVIN BOURKE Kevin has enjoyed 40 years of adventures in music, film and theatre. He lives in Saddleworth – the heart of brass band country. A Songlines contributor since 2011, this issue he’s reviewed The Unthanks (p70).

AMARDEEP DHILLON Amardeep is a London-based poet and journalist, as well as an amateur Indian vocalist and dilruba player. Having greatly impressed the Songlines team as an intern, he is now a regular reviewer (see p74).


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