After launching a series of virtual tours, Louvre Abu Dhabi is now celebrating International Museum Day (Monday, May 18) with a feast for the ears.
The Saadiyat Island cultural institution has teamed up with regional music streaming platform Anghami to produce seven mostly superb playlists embodying the spirit of the museum and its various exhibitions.
Louvre Abu Dhabi director Manuel Rabate says music and art lovers will be spoilt for choice, as each playlist contains 20 to 30 tracks and aims to capture the mood evoked by the museum’s arts and cultural masterpieces.
“The playlists offer a new and innovative dimension for audiences to experience Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection through the universal language of music,” he said in a statement.
“We are excited to expand our digital offering to feature not just visual art, but also other forms of culture that offer different perspectives, new discoveries and inspiring encounters with human creativity.”
Let’s take a look at the tunes available now online:
A Journey Through Civilisations
This is a seriously good collection of traditional folk tunes from various cultures.
Beginning with the soul sounds of Malian singer Rokia Traore (Kounandi), the globetrotting playlist celebrates rich musical cultures ranging from North Africa (Algeria's Aziza Brahim and Morocco's Hindi Zahra) and Europe (Greece's Lizeta Kalimeri and Italian crooner Fabrizio De Andre) to Jamaica with Bob Marley's Redemption Song.
A good option for your working day or to unwind. The soothing 31-song collection is packed with atmospheric tracks featuring the acclaimed electronic French duo Air (Playground Love), the cinematic Scottish group Boards of Canada (Peacock Tail), British producer Bonobo (Break Apart) and the brilliant Swedish-Japanese folk artist Sumie with Divine Wind.
It's all in the title: relax to 24 stirring pieces of classical music featuring the genre's biggest names, past and present. The selection features works such as Ludwig Van Beethoven's Symphony No.7 in a Major Op.92 and Igor Stravinsky's L'Oiseau de feu (The Firebird Suite) and pieces performed by modern conductors Simon Rattle (Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps) and the Italian great Riccardo Muti with his aching take on Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade.
Louvre Abu Dhabi Collabs
A colourful selection celebrating Louvre Abu Dhabi’s partnerships with world music acts. All the 21 artists included here have either performed within the museum or provided the soundtrack to particular exhibitions.
The eclectic list of names here, from Malian blues woman Fatoumata Diawara and French jazz man Ibrahim Maalouf to Iraqi oud maestro Naseer Shamma and Emirati jazz singer Hamdan Al Abri, is a tribute to the museum's adventurous music and events programming.
The most current playlist of the lot. While the acts are from the here and now, their tracks are an example of how they are taking their respective genres forward. The big pop names include Eminem (Godzilla), Billie Eilish (Bad Guy) and The Weeknd (Losers). Their anthems are sandwiched between popular experimental artists such as Iceland's Bjork, Brazilian electro artist Amon Tobin and US house music producer Octo Octa.
A great way to start your day. This 31-song playlist is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, with upbeat anthems provided by the late Bill Withers (Lovely Day), Nina Simone (Feeling Good), Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Mustt Mustt) and Lebanon grand dame Fairuz with Oudak Rannan.
More head scratching than nodding. While Family Times is meant to appeal to both young and old, the random nature of the selection is a bit jarring. Examples of musical whiplash include Amr Diab's Bayen Habeit followed by Pharrell Williams' Happy, or Michael Jackson's Billie Jean preceding Mohem Jeddan by Hussain Al Jassmi then followed by I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. A good idea, but of all the playlists, this is the only misfire.