Arab Avantgarde Music. (Part 1)

Arabic Music, Free Improv, Fusion, Music Theory 1 Comment

Having received a call for submissions for essays on Arab avantgarde, I thought this one was just down my alley..

Thinking about the subject, the questions that seem the most urgent to answer are not about the Arab avantgarde music movement itself just yet, but rather questions about how to have a discussion about Arab avantgarde music. In fact, the questions touch on some of the vague aspects of the term not necessarily in relation to Arab avantgarde.

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The true and definitive story of the birth of music..

Free Improv, Improvisation, Music, Taqasim No Comments

Some thousands of years ago someone hit a stick against a piece of wood, deliberately, not for the purpose of making a tool or for hunting or farming. S/He did it for the purpose of hearing the sound of it. Music was born.

How did music start? Why do we play music? What was the first music like? Was it invented by a child or an adult? Was it invented in daytime or nighttime? Was it improvised or composed? Why do we still improvise? Where is music going? Why are there so many different kinds of music? Read the rest…

Fusion That Works (Part 3)

Free Improv, Fusion, Music No Comments

In part 2 we saw how preconceptions about the music of the other triggered a series of decisions that eventually affected the sonic result of the fusion. Some of those decisions were sound. Others could have been better. In this post, I will try examine prior knowledge a little further and start the discussion of other decisions that need to precede a successful collaboration. Read the rest…

Fusion That Works (part 1)

Arabic Music, Free Improv, Improvisation, Music, Oud No Comments

It is not unusual for musicians from different idioms to get together and play. The result, sometimes, is something fresh, human, beautiful, and creative. Most of the time, however, the result is boring, cold, superficial, and disjointed.

In my view, a series of decisions, mostly not musical, taken by each person early on, in the first seconds of the meeting or even before it, determine the outcome. The question is, how do we make fusion that works? Read the rest…