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New Documentary On Arabic Music To Begin Airing In November
Published September 23, 2008

Put together by Miles Copeland, Dissonance And Harmony is a documentary that explores the bridging of the gap between Eastern and Western music.

Can the answer to peace and understanding between the West and Middle East be found in music? Dissonance And Harmony: Arabic Music Goes West is a new documentary about forging ties between the West and Middle East through contemporary music that will air nationally on PBS on November 2. Directed and produced by Jonathan Brandeis, the 60-minute film follows legendary music impresario Miles Copeland as he visits different countries in the Middle East and meets with musicians, singers  and producers who discuss their feelings about the West, and how the political situations and wars in their countries have shaped their music and careers. Copeland then brings them to the U.S. to collaborate with high-profile Western artists and present their music to U.S. audiences.


Produced by WETA, the flagship Washington, D.C., PBS station, as part of the America At A Crossroads series, Dissonance And Harmony: Arabic Music Goes West will air nationally in the U.S. on PBS on November 2 at 10 p.m. (check local listings). It will also air at various times in September throughout the Middle East.


“The impetus for this project was to show how the negative stereotypes and misconceptions that Westerners and Middle Easterners have of each other, particularly post-9/11, can be overcome through the common ground we share in music,” said Copeland. “I am very excited that people in the Middle East and America will have a chance to see it around the same time and hopefully gain an understanding of the other’s culture that they may not have had before.”


Copeland, who has managed The Police and Sting, developed an interest in Arabic music and culture while growing up in the Middle East, where his father worked for the CIA.


Dissonance And Harmony: Arabic Music Goes West focuses on five Middle Eastern artists who represent a wide range of musical genres. They include:


Ilham Al Madfai, an Iraqi singe