The Banjo Chants Allah

by Erik Spangler

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"The Banjo Chants Allah" is my interpretation of a Sufi chant, which would be translated as "There Is No God But God". This is another part of my current interest to bridge different cultures which seem unlikely partners but actually share deep historical connections. In this case I'm singing and playing the source chant in a clawhammer style on a gourd banjo that I made, as well as my regular resonator banjo. I'm drawn to this sound where old-time Appalachian meets Middle Eastern resonances. The banjo has this sonic and historical connection not only to West Africa (e.g. the ngoni), but also to Arabic traders, and further east to India via similar instruments such as the sarod. When hip hop-infused drums and bass enter, we come full circle as part of a current folk music that has become international and a melting pot of so many cultures.


released July 24, 2013



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Erik Spangler Baltimore, Maryland

Erik Spangler (a.k.a. DJ Dubble8) is a Baltimore-based composer and electronic musician working within a wide range of listening environments. As a turntablist and controllerist DJ, Spangler performs live remixes of his own compositions along with found-sound improvisations, through solo performances or in an ensemble context. ... more

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