Please join us in crowdfunding A Grain of Sand, a documentary on Bahraini pearl divers and their music, produced by Jason Carter. Mirroring the fascinating dichotomy of cultural identity in the Arabian Gulf, from a heritage rich in the art of survival, to the dizzying heights of the 21st century where nothing is impossible, Jason will talk us through the process of making the documentary and may also treat us to a live sampling of the music he has shared with them.
Beneath the rapid growth of commercialism in the Gulf lies a strong musical heritage, which is vocalised through the stories and music of the pearl divers. Pearl diving was a simplistic but precarious way of life. Each diver had his own song, sung for him as he dived, the song lasting for as long as the diver could hold his breath. Songs about preparing the boats, about leaving loved ones behind and the vulnerability of life at sea.
The songs themselves are unique, but there are also lessons to be learned and wisdom to be passed down from the men who wrote them. This project aims to give them a voice and an audience. Older Gulf Arabs love to recall memories of standing on their respective beaches, watching the pearl divers prepare for the seas, listening to their songs drift out to sea, then months later, standing on the same shores, listening for the songs, as a sign that they were on their way home….
A Grain of Sand is an effort to provide a window into the culture, heritage and wisdom of these men, illustrated through their songs - the lives and struggles of the Pearl Divers is an amazing story that needs to be told.
All are welcome! (Recommended Donation BD 5)