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The Secret Mountain has announced an October release for Songs in the Shade of the Olive Tree: Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes from the Maghreb, the latest in their series of International titles which feature a full-length audio CD released alongside a full-color, illustrated book.

From the Official Press Release: “Produced in Paris under the direction of Hafida Favret, Magdeleine Lerasle and Paul Mindy, the book draws children into a musical journey across North Africa, from the Sahara Desert through the Atlas Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea. In these story-songs about everyday life, children learn about things important for survival in a harsh environment. The rhymes and lullabies refer to the importance of rain, the communal aspects of meals and the consequences of inappropriate behavior.  

The storybook features lyrics to each song reprinted in the original Arabic and translated into English, followed by notes on the origin and cultural context of each song. Full-color illustrations by Algerian-born artist Nathalie Novi provide a vivid context for each piece.

The accompanying CD features 30 songs from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, hauntingly performed by women, men and children from each culture. The music is a mix of ancient and modern styles recorded with indigenous acoustic instruments.”

To sample songs from this release, check out The Secret Mountain’s website

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