Music to Write of Arabia

I’ve held various career plans over the years, beginning with my ambition to be a double-nought spy, a starship captain, or another Beatle. I also wanted to be a writer from an early age, a goal that seemed just about as superheroically awesome as the others.

By the time I was in college I was still gigging around in local rock bands and writing, and I had it in my head I might be able to make a go of it as a composer. There’s only so much time in every day, and every life, though, and eventually writing won out over music, just as getting a film degree won out over a degree in music theory. These days I only sit down at the piano occasionally to amuse myself, but I do keep my hand in composing by drafting themes for my characters.Sometimes I sit down and play a character theme song before I start my writing day.

I’ve thought about subjecting the wider world to a recording of the Dabir and Asim theme song, but I think it would sound a lot better with all the orchestration I hear in my head rather than just having me pound it out on the piano, and besides, I’m busy, so it’s never been recorded.

But enough about me! Today I wanted to share the CD I listen to while driving around town and thinking about the ancient Middle-East.

A couple of years back I heard a review of a CD titled Eastern Wind, by Eliyahu and the Qadim Ensemble. Not only was it evocative and stirring, it was performed with passion and artistry. Usually I’m a pretty curious guy — it helps to be curious when you’re researching– but for some reason, much as I loved this CD, I never looked up the group to find out more about them or to see whether they had more recordings.

It turns out that they have a number of additional CDs, and, wonder of wonders, they’re still touring live. Usually if I discover a group I like, they’ve been broken up for a few years, because I’m often oblivious about new things.

Don’t take my word for it — here’s what the press said about them:

“Visionary . . . achingly beautiful . . .”
San Francisco Chronicle

“The Jewish and Arabic musicians who comprise this eclectic world-music ensemble show the power of unity.”
The Boston Globe

To find out more about these talented musicians, you can check out their web site, here. And if you want to hear the song that gets me thinking about heroic adventures, it’s track 6, “Maghrebi,” from the CD Eastern Wind. For some reason the online song sample of this tune starts at the bridging section, so you don’t hear much of the driving momentum and melody. Trust me, though. It’s grand stuff. I sincerely hope that you’ll purchase some of their CDs. I know I plan on buying more of their music. Wish I lived a little closer to one of the coasts so that I could see a live performance!