Sounds of the Land: Billboard Arabia creates music using the grooves of the AlUla landscape

Sounds of the Land: Billboard Arabia creates music using the grooves of the AlUla landscape

Blending topography with music, this groundbreaking initiative pays homage to the diverse landscapes of the Arab world using the region's natural beauty as a basis for melody
06 March 24
Image source: Unsplash

Billboard Arabia, renowned for its coverage of music, culture, and entertainment, has unveiled an innovative project titled "Sounds of the Land."

To bring this ambitious and intriguing project to life, Billboard Arabia embarked on an extensive exploration of five iconic regions across the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) area. Through advanced mapping and topographic analysis (defined as the arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area) - data was extracted to capture the essence of each location's distinctive terrain.

This landscape data was then translated into captivating sounds and preserved on vinyl recordings, offering a never-before-heard auditory experience of the region's landscapes.

One such chosen landscape was that of AlUla: one of the most ancient landscapes and locations in Saudi Arabia, AlUla is rich in culture and heritage - and has some of the most jaw-dropping and inspiring landscapes in the Kingdom.

With large swathes of red desert land punctuated by large rock faces that emerge unexpectedly, seemingly out of nowhere, their towering peaks abruptly piercing the horizon, this rather scarce landscape is then balanced by natural greenery in the form of palms and other plants. And of course, then there is the beauty of the Old Town and the traditional mud structures.

Sounds of AlUla: Nestled in the heart of Saudi Arabia, AlUla represents a convergence of civilisations amid breathtaking natural beauty.

What do you think AlUla sounds like? Listen below.

The initiative invited artists and music producers to participate by crafting their interpretations of one-minute tracks inspired by the "Sounds of the Land." By incorporating these samples into their compositions, creators have the opportunity to infuse their work with the spirit and atmosphere of the Arab world's topographies, potentially shaping future chart-topping hits.

Several other locations have also been included in this initiative, with highlighted samples from:

  • Sounds of Tafilah: Located in Jordan's southern highlands, Tafilah is a verdant oasis steeped in history and surrounded by arid landscapes.
  • Sounds of Tinghir: Situated in Morocco, Tinghir is an oasis sculpted by the Todra and Dades Rivers, nestled between the High Atlas and Little Atlas mountains.
  • Sounds of the Kadisha Valley: Rising from Lebanon's highlands, the Kadisha Valley exudes natural splendor and spiritual significance.
  • Sounds of Luxor: This ancient Egyptian city emerges from the desert plains, narrating the tales of the renowned "Valley of the Kings."

Samples are readily available for download on the dedicated website,, as well as on Billboard Arabia's official SoundCloud account, These samples can be freely remixed and reworked, creating a versatile sample bank that is accessible to music enthusiasts worldwide.

The collection of 20 captivating samples showcases the rich diversity of the Arab world's landscapes, ranging from lush green valleys to expansive sand dunes and majestic mountains. Each sample is meticulously crafted to reflect the unique characteristics of iconic locations across MENA, which one is your favourite?