History for some reason defined the continent of Asia as east of a line joining the Urals with the Caucasus and the Black Sea. The incredible thing about this amazing landmass, is its enormous diversity in land, climate and people. Its music stretches back for over 3000 years and can be quite a stretch for Western ears, not just in the sounds, but in the philosophy behind it. And what incredible sounds, from the percussion based classical music of Thailand, Tuvan throat singers in Mongolia, Indonesian pop bands, the poetry of the Arab world to Ravi Shankar’s sitar music that influenced so many in the 1960’s.
A memory I have sums up its vibrancy and uniqueness. Whilst sitting outside a newly opened Pizza Hut restaurant (not my choice – I love Indian food!) in Hyderabad, India I watched a mass of cars, trucks, buses, cycle-rickshaws and auto rickshaws filled with the most colourful people pass by – suddenly, down the middle of the road looking very regal, walked a camel and it’s owner!