MP3 Covita - Scriptures
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Kurz-Beschreibung von CDbaby: Inspirational New Age/World Music
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Rich melodies sung in Aramaic, Hebrew Arabic are layered with Middle Eastern oud, percussion and chant to celebrate shared truths found in sacred scriptures. From prayerful reverance and sheer joy, to sensual delight and deep mystery, this evocative music is offered in the spirit of wholeness, healing, and peace.
How the Scriptures Recording Came About:
As the winter of 2005 approached, the call to take some time for a quiet, personal retreat grew more insistent. After a week-long November retreat with my Sufi guide Kamaeamrapali Miller and her partner/husband Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz, lots of feelings were moving inside. The retreat had been an exploration of the creation stories from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-and we cut right to the core questions of life. In addition, we had several days working with Saadi and his psycho-spiritual approach to the practice of chanting and breathing the 99 Beautiful Names. The 99 Names bring up every aspect of our being, so this was also alot to process.
My partner Christopher and I live next to a nature preserve, so the way I fashioned my "in-place" retreat was to walk in nature for several hours each day, and to write in my journal. Almost immediately musical impressions came to me, especially while walking in the park. So, beginning on the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6) I added music-making to my retreat activities.
What followed was a daily rhythm that included walking, writing, and playing around with musical ideas, the first of which was to interpret the latin chant, Veni Emannuel, on the middleeastern lute, the oud. That melody has special meaning to me because it was in singing that tune as a young Catholic schoolgirl that I first noticed my heart-felt love for singing and music. So somehow I was starting at the beginning in terms of my musical heart.
We need to step back in time a couple of years to explain how it came about that I received training making it possible to recite Hebrew, Aramaic, and Quraninc Arabic. This also indirectly relates to Saadi and Kamaeamrapali. In 2000 we had travelled up to Montana on a hunch that whatever Neil Douglas-Klotz was doing in a week-long retreat we read about on the web, would help us in our preparation for a recording project for our group SAVAE. We had decided to make our next SAVAE album "music from the time of Jesus," and had no idea where to beging. That retreat was a mind-blowing experience in which we were exposed for the first time to Sufis and Sufi practices as well as the Dances of Universal Peace. Doors opened in many directions for both Christopher and me.
Shortly after we returned to San Antonio the current intefada broke out. We had just begun exploring the issues of the Middle East in order to do our music project, so when an email came announcing a Tri-Faith dialogue celebration of Sukkot, and a discussion of the intefada, we decided to attend. During the meeting portion--before the Sukkot celebration/ritual--a Middle Eastern man in traditional attire stood up and introduced himself: "My name is Hallalujah Khalil Khalil and I will be in San Antonio for the next two weeks to teach the recitation of the 99 Names of Allah in Quran language in order to connect your heart to God. In six hours I will teach you to recite these names better than an Arab."
We immediately went to speak with Hallelujah (an Eqyptian-born muslim living in Germany), and started an intensive training in a particular tradition of recitation with ties to Kufa, Iraq. Over the course of two years, in four different visits to the USA, we studied with Hallelujah. It turned out that he lived at our home on four different visits, so we worked very closely with him on a day-to-day basis. When Hallelujah learned that we wanted to also pronounce and sing Hebrew and Aramaic for our recording, he set about fine-tuning a proniunciation guide for those languages as well.
Scriptures is a musical reflection of my personal work to integrate the various internal and external influenes in my life. The oft-opposing inner voices that argue about what is correct and true-not to mention the tidal waves of emotions that routinely wash over every human. Holding your own with respect to the inner struggles is hard enough, but to that we add the pain of watching outer conflicts, wars, injustice, and environmental degredation on the planet. Somehow we have to take all this in and work with it to build productive lives with meaning. So, by simply mixing and matching the musical, religious, and linguistic elements of a war-torn region I felt I was working on my personal sense of integration...wholeness.
As the individual pieces for Scriptures came about I recorded my musical exploration on my very basic laptop computer recording set-up. By recording the bits and pieces this way-in my own home-there was the possibility of trying many, many different approaches to each text or melody. At a cetain point it was obvious that a collection was gathering.
The first work started on Epiphany, and the last day of recording was March 21: the first day of Spring. So it really was an inner-winter experience. Even now I find it amazing that I had the space and time to make the retreat and explore the musical possibilities.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was that when musician and record producer Ben Tavera King heard my rough mix of the material, he heard something that he thought would be of interest to others-so he offerred to make the eventual finished project available through his record company. A note about Ben: SAVAE recorded its first three albums on his label-which were all Latin American projects. When it came time to do the "music of the time of Jesus" Ben enthusiastically supported our idea. he lent us Middle Eastern instruments that he happenned to have in his collection, as well a numerous recordings of various regional styles. We are very grateful for the role Ben has played in encouraging our exploration of music.
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