Global hit: Badila Ensemble

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The World

We’re going to introduce you to The Badila Ensemble. The Badila Ensemble plays music inspired by the Sufi and Hindu mystical traditions.

The ensemble is led by a Frenchman named Bastien Lagatta. He recruited the ensemble’s members in France, India, and Iran.

Lagatta says he was searching for what he calls a “melody of humanity.” The result — he says — is music that’s meant to be listened to with your heart.

LAGATTA: “Because it tells something coming very far away from us, something higher than our nationality, higher than our culture, higher than what is written on our passport. It’s something that is coming from beyond the world.”

The musical path the Badila Ensemble travels on is filled with spiritual signposts. Most of their songs are dedications to a higher power.

Mame Kahn Manghaniyar is the group’s singer. He’s a Muslim from India. Mame says he and the other ensemble members have no problem crossing religious boundaries.

MAME: �We don’t feel like if you are Muslim you can’t sing a Hindu song. If you’re Hindu you can’t sing a Muslim song. Because the music has no caste, it has no borders, so we can sing any kind of music.�

The group’s lastest CD is called “Qalandar Express: Love Songs of the Mystic Riders.”

The Qalandar Express is a train in Pakistan. Once a year, it takes pilgrims to the tomb of a Sufi Saint. Bastien Lagatta says the members of the Badila Ensemble– like those pilgrims — are on a quest for peace through understanding.

LAGATTA: �It’s our common goal because, an example, we are always thinking about Iran as a bad position. Of course the political situation now is so bad, but the Iranian culture is not the President. It’s seven thousand years of tradition and culture still alive today. It’s the same for India and all the cultures we are crossing.�

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