Many attempts have been made by musicians to create a synthesis between Eastern and Western cultures. Generally the result is that either the Western or Eastern form dominates while the other is merely used for ornamentation. For the past several years Bustan Abraham has met this challenge and has succeeded in pioneering a unique form of instrumental music which combines elements of both these Eastern and Western forms without sacrificing the musical integrity of either.
Bustan (Hebrew and Arabic meaning, "garden of fruits and essences," in this case the garden of Abraham, father of Isaac and Ishmail) was founded in 1991 by Avshalom Farjun. It comprises seven distinguished Israeli musicians, both Jews and Arabs, who have combined their musical experience as composers, soloists and heads of musical ensembles to create original music on a very high international level.
The musical backgrounds of Bustan Abraham's members are very rich and represent an astonishing variety of musical cultures including classical Arabic music, classical European music, jazz, Turkish, Persian and Indian music, flamenco and American folk music.
The instruments played are unusually diverse. Middle Eastern instruments include the oud (Arab lute), qanoun (oriental zither) and a range of percussion instruments such as durbakkeh, daff, zarb and bandir frame drums to name only a few. These are joined by Western instruments including transverse flute, classical and flamenco guitar, contrabass, electric bass, and 5-string banjo. In addition the violin is utilized in both Middle Eastern as well as Western forms of playing. Also represented is an astonishing array of international percussion instruments too numerous to mention! The successful integration of this combination of instruments has never before been presented on the concert stage. The music which embodies this rich diversity is entirely original and was composed and arranged in a cooperative effort by all members of the group.
Bustan aspires to create a new musical form, which speaks to both Eastern and Western audiences, and to pave the way for other joint creative efforts between Arabs and Jews. The group has become a symbol of uncompromising instrumental composition, which has created a new standard of originality in Israeli music, and world music in general, and has received rave reviews to that effect from audiences and critics alike.
Bustan have toured extensively throughout the world between 1992 & 2003 it's powerful stage performance have been always greeted with standing ovations by audiences.
Bustan Abraham's members are:
Taiseer Elias-oud, violin
Emmanuel Mann -bass
Miguel Herstein-classical guitar and banjo
BUSTAN ABRAHAM, 1992, NADA 7
PICTURE THROUGH THE PAINTED WINDO, 1994, NADA 8
ABADAI with Ross Daly, 1996, NADA 9
FANAR- with guest artists (Zakir Hussain and Hariprasad Chaurasia),1997, NADA13
HAMSA, 2000 , NADA 14
AHARA-The first decade collection, 2000, NADA 18
Bustan Abraham Live! 2004, Nada 30