Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

By Elizabeth Doyle

The Omani Royal Orchestra –

I think Oman would be an interesting place to visit. My internal image of it is like an old, magical Arabia – they have a Sultan, they have holidays where they all wear brightly colored, festive clothing and curved knives, they have gorgeous white buildings against an aqua Oceanside – and secretly, in my imagination, I think they must have genies, too!  Villages have been found there that are 8,000 years old! They also have a really nice orchestra there that I like.  Formed about 30 years ago because the Sultan really likes classical music, I think they put on a really impressive show! Click here.

Several didgeridoos

Steven Simon – The didgeridoo is a really interesting instrument.  It kind of sounds like insects speaking to one another, but in a really intense, foreboding way. Almost like insects telling a prophecy.  Or casting a spell.  Or calling a gathering.  The instrument is found in Australia, among the aboriginal people there.  They’ve been playing it for more than a thousand years in both ceremony and festivity. And apparently – this is what I heard – in order to play it, you have to actually breathe in and out at the same time. (In through the nose, out through the mouth simultaneously.)  So didgeridoo players never have to pause to take a breath! It’s quite fascinating to watch.  Here’s a man named Steven Simon, a descendent of the Lama Lama Kuku Taipan tribes of Queensland, Australia, playing this fascinating instrument. Click here.

Playing a Thai drum

Carabao – Outside of Asia, not many people know about this band. But they’re extremely popular in Thailand and elsewhere.  They’ve been around since the 1970s, and their front man is an outspoken, sometimes called “sharp-tongued” inspiration to a lot of youth. Their music touches on everything from politics to social justice to issues of personal philosophy and positivity. As I said, they’re not well-known outside of Asia, but they’re legendary in some countries, and while in many ways, they’ll remind you of rock bands that you’ll find anywhere, in some ways, they’re absolutely unique. Click here.

Top photo: Author: Sabihuddin.khan / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license / Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Second photo: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. / Attribution: Nick carson at en.wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons / Various types of Didgeridoo

Third photo: Author: Tevaprapas Makklay / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain / Playing a Thai drum