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A lost summer of festivals

The appearance of Aynur on this issue’s cover marks a first as she’s the first Kurdish singer to grace a Songlines front cover. Probably like many readers, I first encountered Aynur when she featured in Fatih Akin’s Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul documentary film in 2005. Her soaring and haunting voice seemed to express the soul and anguish of Kurds across the world. “Singing in Kurdish is a way of bringing our history or our culture from the past to the future, for the next generation,” she says in her interview with Robert Rigney on p20.

Born in Turkey, Aynur now lives, like many Kurds, in exile. Sadly the situation for Kurdish-Iranian refugee musicians Farhad Bandesh and Mostafa ‘Moz’ Azimitabar is very different as they find themselves in detention in Australia and subject to its hardline immigration policies. It’s a depressing story but one that deserves to be heard (see p36).

As this issue comes out slap-bang in the middle of what would normally be peak festival season, we show our love for festivals around the world that have been postponed or cancelled by sharing our favourite festival memories over the years (on p24). The call to contributors and musicians prompted such a huge response we couldn’t fit them all in the magazine, so you can check out more on our website. Guitarist Justin Adams recalls his first trip to the Festival in the Desert in Mali and contributor Maria Bakkalapulo shares her very special bond with Borneo’s Rainforest World Music Festival, reflecting “on the wonderful world of music festivals creating countless relationships, and not just musical ones.” Then there’s singer Çiğdem Aslan who remarks that “festivals are where I feel country- or border-less in a positive sense.” It’s a sentiment that I’m sure will ring true with many musicians and readers and sums up the inclusive ethos of festivals and why we can’t wait for them to resume as soon as it’s safe to do so.

We show our love for festivals around the world

that have been postponed or


Visit our website for more details

about our carbon offsetting:



Jo Frost, editor




Songlines is published by MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd St Jude’s Church, Dulwich Rd, London, SE24 0PB, UK +44 (0)20 7738 5454 info@songlines.co.uk www.songlines.co.uk © MA Music Leisure & Travel Ltd, 2020. All rights reserved. No part of Songlines may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the publishing director. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the editor or Songlines advertisements in the journal do not imply endorsement of the products or services advertised. Please read our privacy policy, by visiting http:// privacypolicy.markallengroup.com. This will explain how we process, use and safeguard your data. ISSN 1464-8113. Printed by: Pensord Press Ltd, Blackwood, NP12 2A Record trade distribution Songlines 020 7738 5454 Newstrade distribution Seymour 020 7429 4000

Daniel Brown Based in France, Daniel is a freelance journalist with over 30 years of experience. This issue he interviews Djibouti’s Groupe RTD (p15) and looks back over valiha player Rajery’s career to date (p74).

Jane Cornwell (@janesworlde) Jane is a Songlines contributing editor and writer on music, arts, culture and travel. This issue she reports on the plight of musicians in detention in Australia (p36) and a new initiative in Darwin (p77).

Max Reinhardt (@imaxreinhardt) Longtime Late Junction presenter and musical director with Ockham’s Razor and Oily Cart, Max also hosts the Late Lunch Show on Soho Radio every Friday. Read his feature about Keleketla! (p40).

Songlines was launched in 1999 and is the definitive magazine for world music – music that has its roots in all parts of the globe, from Mali to Mexico, India to Iraq. Whether this music is defined as traditional, contemporary, folk or fusion, Songlines is the only magazine to truly represent and embrace it. However, Songlines is not just about music, but about how the music fits into the landscape; it’s about politics, history and identi . Delivered in both print and digital formats, Songlines, through its extensive articles and reviews, is your essential and independent guide to a world of music and culture, whether you are starting on your journey of discovery or are already a seasoned fan.