Jerusalem in My Heart

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Mo7it al-mo7it (2013), 6.5/10
Suuns and Jerusalem in My Heart (2015), 5/10
If He Dies If If If If If If (2015), 6/10
Daqa'iq Tudaiq (2018), 6/10

Jerusalem in My Heart, originally an audio-visual project concocted in Montreal by Lebanese singer and buzuk player Radwan Moumneh with filmmaker Erin Weisgerber, became Moumneh's vehicle for his reimagination of classical Arabic music.

Mo7it al-mo7it (Constellation, 2013) contains a ten-minute solo for a plucked instrument, 3andalib Al-furat/ Nightingale of the Euphrates, and the intensely dramatic, almost theatrical, nine-minute chant with buzuk Amanem. Some of the shorter pieces are even more emotional: the ghostly litany Yudaghdegh El-ra3ey Walal-Ghanam, the vibrant, almost punkish, instrumental Ko7l El-3ein 3emian El-3ein and the tragic combination of moribund echoed vocals and wall of drones in 3anzah Jarbanah.

Suuns and Jerusalem in My Heart (2015) was a mediocre collaboration with Montreal's psych-rockers Suuns.

If He Dies If If If If If If (Constellation, 2015) is a mix blessing. The experimental pieces mostly disappoint, with the notable exception of the frenzied, pulsating crescendo of A Granular Buzuk (a duet with guitarist Sharif Sehnaoui). The invocation over synth drones of 7ebr El 3oyoun/ Ink From the Eyes (with a coda of jamming with percussionist Pierre-Guy Blanchard and guitarist Ian Ilavsky) is not particularly involving, the piece for buzuk and electronic distortion (Qala Li Kafa Kafa Kafa Kafa Kafa Kafa/ To Me He Said Enough Enough Enough Enough Enough Enough) is childish, and the piece with the drum machine (Lau Ridyou Bil Hijaz/ What If the Hijaz Was Enough) sounds like a sellout to world dance music. The real pathos comes with the solo buzuk piece 2asmar Sa7ar/ The Brown One Cast a Spell against the backdrop of ocean waves and with the more spartan invocations of Ta3mani Ta3meitu/ He Fed Me I Fed Him (with only buzuk) and especially Ah Ya Mal El Sham/ Oh the Money of Syria (with Bansuri flute).

Daqa'iq Tudaiq/ Minutes that Oppress (Constellation, 2018) is mostly devoted to a 20-minute orchestral version of Mohammed Abdel Wahab's classic Ya Jarata Al Wadi, retitled Wa Ta'atalat Loughat Al Kalam, a collaboration with Sam Shalabi and a 15-piece Lebanese orchestra. The first two movements are not too different from conventional Arabic pop music, but the third (instrumental) movement feels like a more adventurous rethinking of Arabic motives. More adventurous are the shorter pieces: Bein Ithnein, a surrealistic percussive piece built around a locomotive beat; the slow-motion Thahab Mish Roujou' Thahab for processed voice, buzuk and electronics; and the raga-like buzuk solo Layali Al-Rast.

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

Se sei interessato a tradurre questo testo, contattami