NPR

'We Are Them': Jon Balke and Siwan Call For Coexistence On 'Nahnou Houm'

Norwegian pianist and composer Jon Balke's latest album takes listeners back to a time when the Muslims, Jews and Christians of Al-Andalus lived side by side in art and culture.
Nahnou Houm isn't Jon Balke's first Andalusian experiment: 2009's Siwan also explored traditional music from the region. Source: Antonio Baiano for ECM Records

Al-Andalus was a region of Spain which, after the expansion of the Islamic Empire, was governed by Muslim rulers for nearly eight centuries – from 711 to 1492.

During the first part of that time, followers of Judaism and Christianity were tolerated by most of the Muslim rulers, which encouraged a relative climate of cooperation between scholars of all three faiths. That

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