OMAR FARUK TEKBILEK, Yair Dalal, Azam Ali, Rabbi Haim Louk, Nabil Azzam, Pejman Hadadi and the New Hampshire string orchestra.
In a new CD by Yuval Ron
Manufactured and distributed by Magda Records. www.magda.co.il
With the world on the verge of war in Iraq, this new release presents a stunning reminder of the inter-cultural connection between all people of the Middle East. Most of this supremely evocative album originated from chants and traditional melodies of the three religions of the Middle East. The title track, unprecedented, brings together a Jewish Rabbi and a Muslim priest (Imam) alternating an Islamic call to prayer, Jewish chanting of the Psalms, and an Armenian Christian chant.
This stirring recording has been in the creative process for the past five years, under the wing of noted composer Yuval Ron. His collaboration with Turkish virtuoso Omar Faruk Tekbilek was first noted in the 1999 release of "One Truth" on the Hearts of Space label. A year earlier, Yuval Ron had invited Omar Faruk to record a soundtrack ("Love in the First Degree"), which was composed by Yuval. Months later, the favor was returned when Yuval was invited by Omar Faruk to compose the score for a film called "Inshallah", on which he performed all the instruments after Yuval composed the music. These unique collaborations led to the creation of the album "One" - a musical and spiritual journey combining the musical themes of both films. Recorded in the sound studios of Hollywood with string orchestra featuring soloists Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Rabbi Haim Louk, singer Azam Ali, of the group Vas, duduk and oboe player Chris Bleth, violinist Nabil Azzam and percussion virtuoso Pejman Hadadi.
Then violin and oud player Yair Dalal was recorded in the dunes of the Sinai desert, where additional field recordings were done, capturing Bedouin's voices and all the desert ambient sounds that accompany the work from its opening notes to its finale on the shores of the Red Sea. The artists that came together for this project represent a wide range of the ethnic groups of the area, and the countless musical layers, artistry and chants of the different religions create a fascinating testimony of a desert voyage to the experience of oneness.
Omar Faruk Tekbilek is one of the finest Middle Eastern musicians living in the United States. Faruk is a virtuoso performer of the Middle Eastern bamboo flute (Ney) as well as the zurna (double-reed oboe like instrument), the baglama (long-necked lute), percussion, and dozens more instruments. Faruk has widely toured the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. In 1976, he came to settle in the U.S., and since then, he has collaborated with musicians of inter-national repute including Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Ofra Haza, Simon Shaheen, Don Cherry, Karl Berger, Trilok Gurtu, Jai Uttal, and Ginger Baker. But perhaps he is best known for his collaborative work with guitarist/producer Brian Keane. Faruk's music is rooted in tradition, but has been influenced by contemporary sounds. Faruk is often seen as a peace messenger and he believes in collaborating with musicians of different cultures. "Music is the universal bond, our common language. I represent no nationality when I play", he says. "Through music and dance we can reach each other, face to face. We have no differences."
Based in Los Angeles, Yuval Ron is an international composer and record producer. He has composed music for numerous films and TV programs including "Someone To Die For," "Turbo - Power Rangers II," "Susie Q," "The Spiral Staircase" and "Oliver Twist". His dance scores include commissions from choreographers Daniel Ezralow, Paula Josa-Jones, and Butoh master Oguri. A recipient of multiple grants from National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Composers Forum and the California Council for the Humanities, Yuval has worked with the Moscow Symphony, the LAJS Symphony, and the New Hampshire Philharmonic. In 1998 he released his first solo recording "In Between the Heartbeat" on Simulacra Records, followed by the CD "In the Shallows", from a Getty Center site-specific commission. He performed at the World Festival of Sacred Music 2002 and was musical arranger for the festival's "Circle of Friends for the Spirit of Peace". Yuval is the musical director and oud player for The Yuval Ron Ensemble, dedicated to fostering an understanding of Middle Eastern cultures and religions. He is an affiliated artist with The Center of Jewish Culture & Creativity. He is a noted lecturer and leader of workshops and master classes at numerous schools and universities in the US and abroad, including MIT, Berklee College of Music, UCSD, SCUN, Boston Center for the Arts and the Sam Spiegel Jerusalem Film School.