CD Review: Novella: A Love Letter to Culture Clash


Mosno Al-Moseeki_Novella_Album Cover


Mosno Al-Moseeki
Novella:  A Love Letter to Culture Clash
Previewed by Lise Watson

The self-described Desert Eclectic 3rd World Rocker, Mosno Al-Moseeki is poised to complete this recording after his crowd share funding campaign wraps up later this month, and if this sneak preview is any indication, Al-Moseeki can expect to be very satisfied with the end result.

Al-Moseeki is currently based in Baltimore, Maryland but was born in Sudan.  Nouvella is his story of leaving home for a new life in a new world, the struggles and ultimate rewards, sensitively told with unique and compelling style.

With 24 tracks of music, narration and poetry Nouvella is epic in both proportions and content.   It is an ambitious project which will appeal to fans of ethereal imagery and mythology influenced storytelling. It also has some deep soul for those who are more roots oriented.  We travel with the Desert Boy in a mother’s loving embrace, through the Blue Desert, a moonless planet, from land to sea and the sun, to a labyrinth where together we orbit in fear, defy fear, and get lost in a ‘town of learning curves’, surrounded by seagulls and humming birds and Theoria’s dream, then we rise with him in revolt, to ’fight the dragons and demons made of  venom filled only with hatred, to find her smile’, and finally we witness the boy ‘born of the sand’ as he becomes a  man with some measure of peace and understanding despite disillusionment, who is ‘thankful for these fables of dust.’  It’s a remarkable journey.

Narration and poetry alternate with musical pieces, which challenges us to listen and think as well as luxuriate in the aural delights.  There is a lot to unravel and process in this recording and you will need to listen to it in its entirety a few times for full effect.

The opening musical piece, Angel Mother is a stunning tribute to a mother’s love and guidance.   Masterful guitar is accompanied by the melancholy strains of East African saxophone, violin and powerful drums. Being a fan of African music, I am drawn to those tracks infused with Sudanese elements of rhythm and melody.  I can never get enough of the oud, an Arabic stringed instrument similar to a lute, and so Shukran (Thank you) My Totem is a particular favourite.   Labyrinth and Lost the Sun are other notable tracks, beautiful compositions which speak to the pain and sorrow of cultural clash and the disillusionment of new immigrants.  ‘In here your soul will never be content and your soul will lose its innocence’

Finally, we come to the pièce de résistance of Nouvella, the bonus track, No Kingdom which was chosen to be part of the soundtrack of the poignant indie Sudanese-American short film, Faisal Goes West.  This is such a moving piece of music with lyrics that tear at our heartstrings.  It showcases not only Al-Moseeki’s full range as a musician and his eclectic talents, but his intelligent writing.  He says ‘I came here to build a home, exchanged all my dreams for bricks and stones, so heavy that it broke my throne; I’m a king with no kingdom.’

It’s not always easy to find a talented singer/musician who is also a gifted songwriter.  Al-Moseeki is the whole package and we are certain to hear more and more from him over the coming years.  Support the crowd source funding campaign at and check out the website

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