TMM Senior Producer Enjoys 'Powerful Musicality' In Her Favorite Songs

As Tell Me More enters its final weeks of production, senior producer Davar Ardalan shares her favorite songs for the program's 'In Your Ear' series.

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JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

And finally, as this program winds down - the last broadcast is scheduled for August the 1st - we thought it would be nice to hear what music members of our staff are listening to as part of our series In Your Ear. Davar Ardalan has been the senior producer of TELL ME MORE for the past three years. Let's hear what's on her playlist.

DAVAR ARDALAN, BYLINE: The first song that I'm listening to is called, "Song Of Exile," and it's by a musical group known as Niyaz.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SONG OF EXILE")

NIYAZ: (Singing in foreign language).

ARDALAN: Niyaz means yearning. And what I love about this musical group is that they combine Persian and Indian folksongs with modern electronica and Sufi mystical poetry.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SONG OF EXILE")

NIYAZ: (Singing in foreign language).

ARDALAN: The singer's name is Azam Ali. And she says, if I were to reunite with you just one more time, I would reveal to you the anguish of my exile.

(SOUNDBITE OF NIYAZ SONG, "SONG OF EXILE")

ARDALAN: What I appreciate is the dynamic pace and the changing rhythm of the voice and instrumentation. And I get the same kind of mystical experience or sensation when I listen to Josh Garrels.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOSH GARRELS SONG, "FARTHER ALONG")

ARDALAN: He's a folk artist based in Portland, Oregon. And similar to Niyaz, Josh Garrels also writes about life and longing. This is from his album "Love & War & The Sea In Between," and it's called "Farther Along."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FARTHER ALONG")

JOSH GARRELS: (Singing) There's so much more to life than we've been told. It's full of beauty that will unfold and shine like you struck gold, my wayward son. The deadweight burden weighs a ton. I'll go down to the river and let it run. Wash away all the things you've done. Forgiveness, all right. Farther along we'll know all about it. Farther along...

ARDALAN: Garrels and Niyaz both have a powerful musicality that I love listening to in my very long commute back and forth to work. And in those times when I feel most exhausted and overwhelmed, I turned up the dial and listen to this music. This one is called "Dunya" by Niyaz, which means world. And it has a calming effect. It takes me into a different realm at the edge of myself, almost. Sometimes remembering my magical childhood, other times dreaming of a more simple and less complicated future.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DUNYA")

NIYAZ: (Singing in foreign language).

LYDEN: That was TELL ME MORE senior producer Davar Ardalan telling us what's playing in her ear.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DUNYA")

NIYAZ: (Singing in foreign language).

LYDEN: That's our program for today. I'm Jacki Lyden, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin will be back for more talk tomorrow.

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