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ReleaseProduct
Life Is a Heavy Burden: Ghazals & Poetry From Afghanistan
Artist
Nashenas
Label
Strut
Catalogue Number
STRUT297D
Release Date
February 24, 2022

Nashenas first made his move towards music aged 16 in 1951 when he approached Afghanistan’s national radio station, Radio Kabul, with an idea for a broadcast and, impressed with his language skills, they offered him a permanent job. “I was in close contact with some of the big names in Afghan music like Jalil Zaland,” Nashenas explains. “My father had a gramophone and we listened to other singers like Ustad Qasim Khan and Kundan Lal Saigal.” After unsuccessful initial forays into singing sessions for the station, he honed his skills as a writer, singer and musician, playing the harmonium. Inspired by a movie he had seen at the cinema, he wrote a new poem and sang on air again, using the name ‘Nashenas’ (meaning ‘unknown’) for the first time. Following a wave of positive feedback from the public, he was given a new prime time slot and built his reputation through film song interpretations, famous poems set to music and his own compositions sung in Dari and Pashto.

Nashenas would witness turbulent times as Afghanistan found itself caught up in the Cold War and the early ‘90s civil war until it became too dangerous to stay in the country. Through a friend in the U.N., he was able to seek asylum for himself and his family and take up residence in London, continuing to work as a musician and giving concerts globally.

This album is dedicated to the memory of Mads Jensen who passed away at the end of last year. He was instrumental in putting the project together along with co-compiler Chris Menist, and will be sadly missed. The album is part of the new United Sounds of Asia series curated by Chris Menist and Maft Sai of Paradise Bangkok.

Digital Track List

  1. 1 The Way I Love My Beloved 5:47 Buy

    The Way I Love My Beloved

  2. 2 Your Sorrow Is Killing Me 6:21 Buy

    Your Sorrow Is Killing Me

  3. 3 Flower Had a Thorn 7:42 Buy

    Flower Had a Thorn

  4. 4 I Am Happy Alone 6:26 Buy

    I Am Happy Alone

  5. 5 Life Is a Heavy Burden 5:32 Buy

    Life Is a Heavy Burden

  6. 6 O Beloved, The Sorrow of Your Love Destroyed Me 4:05 Buy

    O Beloved, The Sorrow of Your Love Destroyed Me

  7. 7 The Author of Destiny 4:42 Buy

    The Author of Destiny

Track List

A1 The Way I Love My Beloved
A2 Your Sorrow Is Killing Me
A3 Flower Had A Thorn

B1 I Am Happy Alone
B2 Life Is A Heavy Burden
B3 O Beloved, The Sorrow Of Your Love Destroyed Me
B4 The Author Of Destiny

Track List: CD

  1. The Way I Love My Beloved
  2. Your Sorrow Is Killing Me
  3. Flower Had A Thorn
  4. I Am Happy Alone
  5. Life Is A Heavy Burden
  6. O Beloved, The Sorrow Of Your Love Destroyed Me
  7. The Author Of Destiny
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