In collaboration with producer Ian Brennan and Glitterbeat Records founder Chris Eckman, Le Guess Who? presented the first installment of Hidden Musics during the 2019 edition of the festival. Now and in the future, the project aims to present global music traditions that normally don’t reach our shores, often from more remote parts of the world. This is music that has been developed with little to no Western influence, but with a very rich, and often centuries-old, history.
Hidden Musics 2019 saw rare performances of Pakistan’s Ustad Saami, the last living khayál master, which is a precursor of the ancient, Islamic devotional music of qawwali; the all-female Greek vocal ensemble Isokratisses, who uphold and reinterpret one of the world’s oldest remaining folk music traditions, the polyphonic music of the Epirus region; and Lakha Khan, a living legend of Rajasthani folk music and the undisputed master of the sindhi sarangi: one of the last remaining Manganiyars to have honed this complex instrument.
Photographer Melanie Marsman captured the first installment of Hidden Musics in a photo series with moments captured back backstage and on stage during Le Guess Who? 2019. You can also listen to recordings of Isokratisses live at LGW19 here.
Ustad Saami right after his performance in the Jacobikerk during Le Guess Who? 2019, by Melanie Marsman.
Isokratisses together with Christopher C. King at the Jacobikerk during Le Guess Who? 2019, by Melanie Marsman.
Lakha Khan backstage at the Janskerk during Le Guess Who? 2019, by Melanie Marsman.