£5m Oxford Circus Diagonal Crossing
Inspired by the world famous diagonal Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, also known as the busiest crossing in the world, now Oxford Circus has its own diagonal crossing. Boris raised the meaning of “Oxford Circus” to a whole new level by striking a gong this morning to mark the opening of the diagonal crossing.
The original Shibuya diagonal crossing in Tokyo.
So, they have one diagonal, we have two, and we have Boris striking a gong. London – Tokyo, 1-0. But is it worth 5million pounds of taxpayers money? Meaning, 5million / 60million ~ 8 pence per person? Definitely! I would sure pay 8 pence to see Boris strike a gong again.
Brahui Language and Music
There are currently 2.2 million Brahui in the world, most of which live in Balochistan (Pakistan). Brahui demographics are unique as Brahui is the only Dravidian language spoken outside India. Brahui is considered to be a remnant of the once large Dravidian language group in the area which was progressively replaced by the arrival of Iranian/Indo-Aryan languages in South Asia. The Brahui people migrated from central India around 1000 A.D. Brahui is classified as an endangered language by UNESCO. Brahui music is a subcategory of Balochi music, which stems from Iranian music forms but has a strong musical relationship with Pakistani music and culture.
A song in Brahui from Balochistan
Another Balochi (Brahui?) song.
Performed mostly at festivals, weddings and other celebrations, Chaabi (meaning “of the people” in Arabic) is a modern popular form of music in Morocco influenced from various forms of Moroccan folk music. Not unlike Algerian Rai, during the 70s the Chaabi musical form quickly adopted the keyboard, electric guitar and increasingly controversial lyrics concerning politics, love and everyday life. Controversial lyrics, especially within Chaabi Ghiwane songs, resulted in the exile and imprisonment of artists, although the overall repercussions were much less severe than those suffered by Algerian Rai artists.
A typical Chaabi Aita music performance.
A very recognisable Chaabi musical style is a 12/8 rhythm, divided into two rapid 6/8 segments, one in 2-2-2, the other in 3-3. A song will eventually settle into a question-and-answer routine, before it suddenly breaks into a ‘leseb’, an exhilarating speed-up of the original tempo. The band will often accompanied by a group of female dancers. The Chaabi dancing style is endemic to Morocco: it involves a form of hip movement and hair swaying which descended from the remnants of Arabo-Andalusian culture, and is thus linked to Spanish Flamenco dancing. Chaabi music and dance is also very influenced by several musical styles including arabic Sufi music, Gnawa (a moroccan musical style originating from Sub-Saharan Africa brought to Morocco over the centuries through the saharan slave trade), Berber folk music, and western pop music.
A modern, tackier Chaabi music and dance performance. This performance includes the ‘leseb’ – or speed-up of the tempo, towards the end of the piece.