Music – Wajdi Abou Diab Lyrics – Shadi Sawan Vocal performance – Ahmad El Kheir Piano – Liana Haratyunyan Violin – Mario Rahi Viola – Charbel Bou Antoun Cello – Jana Semaan Supervision and editing – Scarlett Saad Videography – Joe El Hajj Recording engineer – Rami Ouzoun Mixing and mastering – William Mahfoud Sound and Video Production – Redbooth Recorded and filmed at Antonine university – Baabda
الترجمة العربية في الاسفل A piece composed in 2020 by the Lebanese composer Wajdi Abou Diab, for Male singer, violin, viola, cello, and piano, based on a poem by “Shadi Sawwan”. Winner of the special price by Cluster and an honorable mention in the Lunigiana International Festival composition competition 2020, “A cry from the frozen pole” is a poem written by the Syrian poet Shadi Sawan in 2010, lunching a cry to save the humanity in our souls, against the system that barries our souls before we are even born, leaving us without hope, to live our lives in the emptiness, rigidity, coldness, and pain, as if we are living in a frozen world, traveling from ice to ice. The rhythm elements in the piece are inspired by an Arabic folk tune called “Aintoura” that uses the Dabkeh rhythm of 6/4. The melodic elements are the result of the merging of four of the most significant Arabic Makams (scales), which are: Rast, Bayati, Sikah, and Saba. All these elements (in addition to using the instruments in an Arabic traditional way) combined with the baritone oriental singing, help us to sense an echo of the ancient Arabic traditional music, in a contemporary context that reflects at the same time our new world and new sounds. The music as well as the poem, help this piece to present an image of the reality of living in this region: always trying to relive our beautiful memories, but faced with an echo that we can barely hear or acknowledge, an echo that we rely upon to get the hope we seek to skip this big prison someday.
كتب القطعة المؤلف اللبناني وجدي أبو دياب عام 2020 ، للمغني، كمان، فيولا، تشيلو، بيانو، بناء على قصيدة للساعر شادي صوان.
حائزة على الجائزة الخاصة من "كلاستر" ورتبة شرف في مسابقة لونيجيانا الدولية للتأليف 2020 ، "صرخة من القطب المتجمد" هي قصيدة كتبها الشاعر السوري شادي صوان عام 2010 ، تطلق صرخة لإنقاذ الإنسانية في روحنا،صرخة ضد النظام الذي يدفن أرواحنا حتى قبل أن نولد، يتركنا بلا أمل، نعيش حياتنا في الفراغ والقساوة والبرودة والألم، وكأننا نعيش في عالم متجمد، ننتقل من الجليد إلى الجليد.
عناصر الإيقاع في القطعة مستوحاة من الاغنية الشعبية اللبنانية "العينطورة"،ويستخدمفيها إيقاع الدبكة 6/4. اما العناصر اللحنية، فهي نتيجة اندماج أربعة من أهم المقامات العربية ، وهي: الراست، البياتي، السيكاه، والصبا.
كل هذه العناصر(بالإضافة إلى استخدام الآلات بالطريقة العربية التقليدية) جنبًا إلى جنب مع الغناء الشرقي، تساعدنا على سماع صدى الموسيقى التقليدية العربية القديمة، في سياق معاصر يحاكي عالمنا الجديد وأصواته الجديدة.
تساعد الموسيقى والقصيدة هذه القطعة في تقديم صورة لواقعنا المعاش في المنطقة العربية: نحاول دائمًا استعادة ذكرياتنا الجميلة، لكننا نواجه صدى بالكاد نسمعه أو نتعرف عليه، وهو صدى نعتمد عليه للحصول على الأمل الذي يساعدنا في تخطي هذا السجن الكبير يومًا ما.
A new album for solo piano by the Lebanese-Italian pianist Ramzi Hakim, and the Lebanese composer Wajdi Abou Diab.
Wajdi Abou Diab – arrangement
Ramzi Hakim – piano performance, recording, mixing, and editing
Charbel Bark – mastering
Agnese Franchini – cover design
The album is a collection of the most famous Arabic songs, arranged for piano solo.
This work comes as an attempt to bring together the various traditional Arabic musical dialects, and to present them in a unified musical language.
The aim of choosing the classical musical style, as a means of presenting it, specifically by adopting the piano instrument of global spread, was to try to build a bridge of communication between European classical music and Arab music, and to expose the audience of classical music to our Arab heritage.
The publication of these arrangements in a digital book, and placing it within the reach of professional musicians, pianists, piano professors and their students, had a great impact on compensating for the shortage in distributions of Arabic songs for the piano instrument, especially after the increased demand for such works by fans of Arabic music all around the world.
Among the biggest challenges of this work was the transfer of lyrical Arabic music to instrumental piano music, including its melody and rhythm, adding to it the piano classic harmonic character while preserving the Arab identity in melody and content, and being careful not to distort the melody and rhythm, while taking into account the lyrics and its content in terms of the story and the symbolism of each song.
This album plays an important role in preserving a group of Arabic melodies that occupied a prominent place for a long period of time in our social life and our musical memory, through the written and audio archiving of the melodies of these songs
The entire work was recorded remotely, as the musician Ramzi Al-Hakim prepared the pieces and recorded them, then sent them to the author to share opinions and reach the desired goal, and it is interesting that the author and the musician did not actually meet at all, and they got to know some of them through social networking sites.
About the Artist
Ramzi Hakim Italian-Lebanese, born in Lebanon in 1977, began studying piano at age of six, obtaining a Bachelor in the Higher National Conservatory of Lebanon. Since 1998, he pursued his studies and professional activities in Italy. He achieved his piano Master degree with Professor Maria Teresa Carunchio and higher diploma in Electronic Music and Sound Design with M° Eugenio Giordani in Conservatory of Music “G. Rossini” in Pesaro. He continued his studies at National Conservatory of Music “A. Buzzolla” Adria and the International Academy of Padova with Federica Righini. He attended several master classes in chamber music with Alla Volkova, and Massimiliano Damerini. He joined the International Academy of Music in Rome with Konstantin Bogino. For seven years he has been working regularly with “Fortuna Theater” in Fano in various productions and Opera festivals, both as piano accompanist and soloist in their the recitals. Since 2011 he has been pianist of the Singing Opera School in the same Theater with Professor Agata Bieńkowska. In 2009 he founded Trio Ayesha and won several international competitions in International Chamber Music Competition “Città di Pesaro”, XVII Competition “Giulio Rospigliosi”, International Competition “Pietro Argento” Gioia del Colle, and XIII International Competition of Corato Euterpe. He was invited to perform throughout Italy and abroad in major season’s festival. Some of the major venues are: Teatro della Fortuna in Fano, Teatro Rossini in Pesaro, Teatro comunale in Cagli, Festival Eté Mosan in Belgium, Auditorium Hariri in Lebanon, Festival Duni in Mater, Taranto, Bologna and Lecce. He played in various chamber ensembles and orchestras such as Symphonic Orchestra Rossini. Since 2014, he has been actively engaged in intense teaching and concert performance in UAE.
After receiving an invitation from the Chicago based pianist/bassoonist/composer Angela Salvaggionne to give a workshop about Arabic music, and meet her students and listen to them perform selections from the two books “Longa and Sama’i” and “Arabic Folk Tunes“, and to guide them through the pieces, a workshop with the Lebanese composer Wajdi Abou Diab was hold via ZOOM on 30 January 2021 for almost 5 hours, that included three main parts.
In the first part, Wajdi gave a lecture titled “Music of Al Mashriq Al Arabi”, in which he discussed, after a historical introduction, many topics including the Arabic music alphabet, the Arabic music structures, the Maqams families (composition, scales, “Sayr”…), the Arabic instrumental and vocal traditional forms, and Arabic traditional Rhythms.
The second part was dedicated to the students’ performances, through which Wajdi listened to 12 selections from his two book “Longa and Sama’i” and “Arabic Folk Tunes” performed by the workshop participants, and presented a detailed review about every performance, including the story behind every piece, information about the composer, and advice on Arabic music performance technique.
In the third part, Wajdi met 3 composition students, shared with them his ideas about composition, instrumentation and orchestration, and talked in details on “how to benefit from Arabic music elements in our contemporary compositions”, then listened to the students’ compositions and gave them his feedback, after sharing with them some resources and material that can help develop their musicianship as composers.
This workshop was a part of a many other workshops and activities that aim to spread the Arabic music knowledge, and to present the Arabic traditional music for non Arabic musicians, and help Arabic music take a bigger part in the worldwide music scene.
and we are delighted to share with you Angela’s words about the workshop
Thank you so very much for the workshop and master class you presented to my students and colleagues on January 30, 2021. It was delightful to meet you, learn from you, and watch you work with my students.
The theory information you presented was exactly what we all needed and met us where we were at, as complete beginners with Arabic music theory. The worksheets you created were well done and very informative. That discussion gave us good information to help us all begin understanding how the music is constructed, which will help us all in our performances and become more informed listeners.
I loved how you were able to work very well with the wide variety of students, both in age level and in experience. Your comments were excellent and well received. Students are now beginning to see how to make their performances more effective and musical.
The time you spent with the composers was also excellent. They are each happy to have met you and appreciated your critique and insights in composing. We’re thankful you were willing to take time with each of them and give positive comments and excellent suggestions to help them grow and improve.
Again, thank you very much for being willing to work with us all. You presented an excellent musical experience for us all. Your musical and teacher’s heart and expertise are amazing, as are your breadth and depth of knowledge. Each of us is a better musician now because of the time you spent with us. I’m very hopeful we have another opportunity to work together again.
Wishing you continued success and excellent in all your musical endeavors!
A new project I worked on during the last 2 weeks of 2020, I wrote a short melody Inspired by the Lebanese folk dance called Dabkeh, to celebrate the end of the 2020 year, and to dance with those who survived it! I recorded the same piece 12 times, and I shared one recording per day for 12 days, with each video featuring a new instrument and a new friend, with the 2020 Dabkeh band joining us in all the videos to celebrate the end of a messy year!
you can download your instrument score for free on the Free scores page
Meet “Dabket El 2020” Characters from Left to Right
تفاعيل هي قطعة للبيانو مع تسجيل مرافق، ترتكز على بحور الشعر العربي العمودي الستة عشر، فتترجم تفعيلاتهم الى موسيقى وتبحث بعمق ايقاع الشعر العربي الموزون وتقسيم الابيات الشعرية، وتربط بين اللغة العربية الفصحى والموسيقى العربية الفصحى من خلال قولبة تفاعيل بحور الشعر في جمل موسيقية مقامية. كما تقدم آلة البيانو كآلة عربية معاصرة من خلال تطويعها لعزف تقنيات الاداء الموسيقي العربي، كما يطلب من العازف تعديل دوزان بعض الدرجات الموسيقيى بغية تنفيذ الجمل الموسيقية العربية بصورة اقرب للهجة الموسيقية العربية الفصحى
ونكتشف بالتسجيل المرافق للبيانو تسجيلات صوتية حيّة لجمل شعرية مغنّات، ملقات، او محكيّة، بالاضافة الى تسجيلات ميلودية وايقاعية، واصوات ومؤثرات الكترونية مبرمجة خصيصا لهذا العمل، وذلك في محاولة لوضع الموسيقى العربية في جو معاصر، وتطويع الادوات الجديدة لخدمة افكار المؤلف الموسيقية القومية
تعتمد القطعة بشكل اساسي على موازين البحور المستخرجة من التفاعيل وحروفها الساكنة والمتحركة، وتنقل بكل تجرد دورتها الايقاعية، حيث تضع الثقل على الحرف الاول من التفعيلة، وتضيف الحرف الساكن الى المتحرك، فيساوي الحرف المتحرك زمنا واحدا (ويرمز اليه بحرف “ق” اي قصير)، والحرف المتحرك خلفه ساكن زمنين (ويرمز اليه بحرف “ط” اي طويل). والنتيجة دورات وحلقات ايقاعية غير اعتيادية، غير مربعة او متوازية، لكن طبيعية وسهلة للسماع والتطبيق، وتعكس عمق الايقاع في اللغة العربية الفصحى، حيث تفرض الالتزام بالمد والقصر والوقف، فالانطلاق من الكتابة العروضية (اي كل ما يلفظ يكتب، وما لا يلفظ يحذف) يجبرنا على عملية نسخية للالقاء الشعري بتفاصيله، وتقترح أطوالا للجمل الموسيقية بحيث تتناسب مع قدرات النفس البشري، فتتوازى مع طول الابيات الشعرية حيث يكون فيها الالقاء والقراءة الشعرية عملية طبيعية غير متكلّفة
نستعرض فيما يلي بعض الدورات الايقاعية المستعملة في عملية التاليف الموسيقي الايقاعي، ونتحدث عن الاسلوب التاليفي
تبدأ القطعة بعرض صوتي لتسجيلات صوتية للتفاعيل الشعرية ملقاة بعدة نبرات، سرعات، انطباعات، تتداخل مع ترنيم لبيت شعري ل”أبو الطاهر البيضاوي” يغنيه مرتجلا الاستاذ أحمد الخير، وأبياته
وقد اختار المؤلف هذه الابيات لاحتوائها جميع اسامي البحور الشعرية، ولجمال معانيها ونظمها
في الجزء الاول من القطعة، استعمل المؤلف تتابع لتفعيلتين اساسيتين من تفاعيل البحور، وتكرارهما ، ما انتج ميزانا مركبا من قسمين متوازيين في الطول، مختلفين بالتقاسيم الداخلية وهو التالي
الجزء الثاني : ايقاع البحور
استعمل المؤلف في الجزء الثاني من “تفاعيل”، الدورات الايقاعية المستخرجة من الشطر الثاني للبحور الشعرية، وبالترتيب كما اعتمدتها اغلب المراجع، على ان يفصل بين الشطور مدة زمنية قصيرة لمنح العازف والمستمع لحظات من السكون بين الجملة والأخرى، كما يمكننا سماع تسجيل لآلة الطبلة ترافق البيانو وتلعب التقسيم الايقاعي نفسه
ووردت بالترتيب التالي
الجزء الثالث: ايقاعات مبتكرة
في الجزء الثالث، قام المؤلف بابتكار تسلسل جديد لمختارات من التفاعيل في محاولة لايجاد جمل ايقاعية جديدة، وتسلسل ذو طابع مختلف عن ما ورد في بحور الشعر العامودي، وهو مشابه لما يمكن ايجاده في الشعر الحديث، حيث التفاعيل تتسلسل بمسار مغاير للشعر العمودي
ونستمع بالتسجيل المرافق، تسجيلات لآلة المايكروتونال ترومبيت، قام بتسجيلها الاستاذ أحمد الحاج، تلتزم بايقاع تسلسل التفاعيل، مع مرافقة هارمونية ترتكز على الاجزاء العليا من الطيف الهارموني لقرار الجملة الميلودية، فيما يدخل البيانو في حوار مع الترومبيت لينتقل بعدها الى المقطع الرابع
نستعرض فيما يلي بعضا مما ورد في هذا الجزء
في هذا الجزء، يستكشف المؤلف تسلسلا جديدا للتفاعيل، بشكل نثري، حيث يتم استعمال جميع التفاعيل بترتيب عشوائي لصناعة دائرة ايقاعية موسّعة، تعكس شكلا قريبا من الوزن الداخلي للنصوص النثرية الشعرية، حيت ترتيب التفاعيل يكون عبثيا في خدمة المعنى النصّي والايقاع العام للنص، ويقترح ايقاعا دوريا مرافقا للجملة اللحنية مستوحى من ايقاع التفاعيل ضمن الدورة الايقاعية الموسّعة
بعد عرض الدورة الايقاعية الموسّعة كاملة لعدة دورات، تبدا دورة مطابقة بمرافقة الدورة الاساسية مع فارق زمني، ومن ثم تتداخل الدورة الايقاعية الموسعة مع دورات ايقاعية تم استعمالها في الاجزاء السابقة، لنصل الى فضاء من الحركات والدورات الايقاعية المتداخلة، المختلفة شكلا، مضمونا، ترتيبا، وتقسيما، لكن تتشارك الاصل نفسه وهو ايقاع التفاعيل
فيما يلي نستعرض الدورة الايقاعية الموسّعة وتقاسيمها الداخلية
في الجزء الختامي، وكصدى لما سبق، استعمل المؤلف تسلسلا لثلاث تفاعيل لصناعة دورة ايقاعية، تعاد عدة مرات، وتختفي رويدا رويدا نحو النهاية
كتبت الإعلامية فرح الحسنية لموقع “بشوفك” عن المبادرة الذي اطلقها المؤلف الموسيقي وجدي أبو ذياب، حيث قرّر مشاركة الفيديوهات التي يخصّصها لتلاميذه، ونشرها عبر قناته الخاصة في اليوتيوب وذلك كل يوم أحد وبصورة مجانيّة وباللغة العربية. وأكد أبو ذياب بأن الفيديوهات ستشمل كل المستويات وموضوعاتها التنشئة الموسيقية والهارموني الوظيفي، وكما سيتمّ الايجابة على كل الأسئلة عبر التعليقات
للاطلاع على المقال كاملاً، ومعرفة تفاصيل المبادرة يمكنم زيارة الرابط ادناه
As part of the Stories in the Age of Lebanon project, Alwan Project has partnered with award-winning New York based performing arts company Thresh to produce a series of exciting performances based on selected stories. We believe that stories can be presented in many different ways—with the aim of bringing generations together and fostering understanding between communities.
For each story, the Lebanese composer Wajdi Abou Diab Composed the music based on the narrations of the Lebanese elder’s stories, and then award-winning Indian choreographer Preeti Vasudevan created different choreographies and performances based on Wajdi’s music and the stories! and the result: a cross-cultural collaboration between artists around the world—each one responding to the elder’s story in their own way.
Check Wajdi talking about his process and creative choices in developing music for the three stories (in Arabic and English) on his page on Tresh website
A story of a mother, Safiya, who takes care of her six children amidst a brutal war. When food supplies become scarce, she takes to baking for her family and the community around them. Throughout it all, she maintains a sense of pride for her homeland, Lebanon, and reflects on how the war forced its citizens to take care of one another. “If you find your brother weak, help him.”
A story of a woman, Charlotte Haddad Farhat, who flees the war-torn country of Lebanon with her three children. They go by boat to Cyprus and by plane to France, where they eventually settle after months of struggling to find education and work. After her children grow up, Charlotte returns to Lebanon, where she gives connects with an old friend to give back to the country of her birth.
A story that follows a young boy, Mohammad Najib El-Zein, as he comes of age. Surrounded by siblings, Mohammad must find work to support his father and help provide for the family. Mohammad tries different jobs – making shoes, selling oil – before he eventually joins the army to support both his family and the country he loves, Lebanon.
“Majnoun Layla” is a suite of 6 movements for Piano (and optional Req)
Music by Wajdi Abou Diab
Poems by Qays Ebn AL Moulawwah
Translated by Hanin Nakouzi
Cover and graphics by Mohammad Aloush
Dedicated to Kaiyin Huang
After been commissioned by the Taiwanese excellent pianist Kaiyin Huang, to write a solo piano piece (with optional percussion) based on an Arabic historical love story to be included in her upcoming album, I decided to write this solo piano suite (with optional Req) based on the amazing Love story of “Qays and Layla”.
Why this article?
The ultimate goal of music is to express human feelings that cannot be written, drawn, or photographed, and to convey the psychological state that the artist experiences to the player, and therefore to the listener, as music is the most abstract form of art with the best potential to express and communicate.
After delving into the events of Majnoun Laila’s story, and analyzing its events and its human and social dimensions, I realized that it is more than just a historical story or a love story that was illustrated by the beauty of poetry, as it went beyond being a global myth of love, representing a journey of transformation from childish love to satisfactory love, to separation from reality and rebellion against customs and traditions, and the refusal to accept destiny, but rather make the torment of love a destiny in itself.
Through this article, I wanted to transfer that state of ecstasy of beauty and contemplation of life and destiny that I lived with every detail of this wonderful story, to every musician or listener who wants to perform or listen to this suite for piano.
Knowing the author’s condition and the reasons that pushed him to write music in our modern era, is an integral part of understanding music and of good listening or performing, and thus living the full musical experience with all its aesthetic, philosophical, social and expressive dimensions.
Love was known to the Arabs of the Badia as a likable act if secretly, and a disgrace if in public, so Arabs used to praise love stories and take pride in them if they were secret, and to stigmatize both lovers if their love was announced publicly.
We see evidence of this in poems and hadiths that portray love as a dangerous act that only the brave and adventurous can afford, and that describe the lovers’ dates done secretly under the cover of the night or during the time of the tribe’s nap, and always in places far from witnesses.
In Qais’s tribe, being a Bedouin tribe in Najd, love in public was considered a bad and offensive act for the lovers, and therefore their marriage was prohibited publicly, and the girl was often locked down to prevent any kind of contact with her beloved one, and sometimes forced to marry another man to avoid shame and scandal.
Love or inspiration?
The suspicious thing here is that Qays was fully aware of these customs, and the dangers of mentioning the name of Layla in his poems, which was considered an act of declaring love according to the traditions of his tribe. This leads us to think about the reasons that led him to manifest his love without taking into consideration the consequences.
Was the intention to challenge the accepted norm and to try to change habits and make public love acceptable? Or was his goal to wander and savor the torment of the distance as fuel for his poems and as a bridge towards the beauty of poetry and literature? As it is clear that he never tried to heal the wounds of his love or to find an alternative to compensate him for the pain of separation. On the contrary, he determined to increase his longing at every opportunity given, to promise himself Laila, and to dwell on impossible dreams even after receiving the news of her marriage, and then the news of Her death.
About the Story
Qays ibn al-Mulawwah ibn Muzahim was a Bedouin poet. He fell in love with Layla Al-Aamiriya, also known as Layla bint Mahdi ibn Sa’d, from the same tribe. He soon began composing poems about his love for her, mentioning her name often. When he asked for her hand in marriage her father refused as, according to Arab traditions, this would have meant a scandal for Layla and her family.
Soon after, Layla married another man. When Qays heard of her marriage he fled the tribe camp and began wandering in the surrounding desert. His family eventually gave up on his return and left food for him in the wilderness. He could sometimes be seen reciting poetry to himself or writing in the sand with a stick.
There were many minor incidents involving Qays following his descent into madness. Layla moved to present-day Iraq with her husband where she became ill and eventually died.
Qays was later found dead in the wilderness near an unknown women graven 688 A.D. On a rock near the grave he had carved three verses of poetry which are the last three verses attributed to him.
The story of Qays and Layla and their poems, and the news and poetry attributed to them, made a great impact in Arabic literature, both poetry and prose, and its influence extended to Nabati and colloquial poetry in the Arab countries.
This story was also adapted by Persian literature more than once, but the most prominent of which is the epic written by the poet Nizam Al-Kanjwi (d.599 AH), followed by poems by other poets such as Saadi Al-Shirazi, Amir Khusraw, Abdul Rahman Jami, Abdullah Hatfi, Al Maktabi, and others.
Kurdish literature was also influenced by the eternal Arabic love story. The most prominent example of this was what the Prince of Kurdish poetry, Ahmadine Khani, said in his epic “Mamu Zayn”.
As for Turkish literature, the most prominent person who adapted this story was the poet Muhammad bin Suleiman, known by the title “Fuduli”, and Dr. Juban Khader Haydar who has a research entitled “Layla and the Majnoun in Turkish Literature.” In his research he mentioned 29 Turkish poets who wrote poems about Layla and the Majnoun, among them: Aderni Shahidi, Ahmed Pasha and Wali al-Din bin Elias, Ali Sher Nawi, Bahshti Ahmad Sinan, Hamdi Hamd Allah Ibn Sheikh Aq Shams al-Din, Khalil Badr al-Din, Ahmad Radwan, and Hayati Fatih Chalabi.
As for other world literatures, the French poet Louis Argon who wrote ” Majnoun Elsa” along the lines of Majnoun Layla, and the French orientalist André Michael, the director of the Institute for the Languages of India, East and North Africa at the University of Paris, who said: “Coincidences and a passion for the literature of world love led me to interest in the Arabic legend of Majnoun Layla,” and he wrote his book “Majnoun Layla and Tristan” about this story, and another famous legend in the West, entitled Tristan and ISO.
Abdullah al-Ghwail says: “Perhaps the story of Majnoun Layla is one of the most prominent stories adapted by writers from the Western literature, and it’s very easy to see its influence clearly on the poets of the troubadours, and on many contemporary European poets and writers.” And a legend that is one of the most beautiful legends of the West in the medieval era, is the poem Majnoun Elsa, inspired by the original Arabic legend Majnoun Layla.
All parts that are played with the Arabic percussion should be strict in rhythm. Traditionally, we don’t use any ritardando or rallentir in the Arabic music except in the end of the movement, but never in the middle.
If the performance does not include a percussion accompaniment, this gives the pianist more freedom in taking longer breath between phrases.
Using the pedal should be as written, and a total respect of silence should be taken into consideration, especially between phrases and parts. A full silence when written and played strictly, will help the listener separate the phrases, understand the music easily, and will give him a break without receiving new sounds.
Understanding the music as a story telling for “Majnoun Layla” life, will help a lot in connecting the parts and in finding the right character for every movement.
I used 4 Makams in this piece, all originated from the Arabian Peninsula, where the story happened.
The Makams are:
تَعَلَّقتُ لَيلى وَهيَ غِرٌّ صَغيرَةٌ
وَلَم يَبدُ لِلأَترابِ مِن ثَديِها حَجمُ
صَغيرَينِ نَرعى البَهمَ يا لَيتَ أَنَّنا
إِلى اليَومِ لَم نَكبَر وَلَم تَكبَرِ البَهمُ
The first movement starts as a memory of two kids, Qays and Layla, who went every day together to look after the cattle, and day after day they grew up and fell in love.
After an introduction of 8 measures, the tempo becomes strict. Here, the percussion plays the “Wehda Kabira” rhythm which has the following pattern
And this rhythm was used traditionally as an accompaniment for the Mawwal (which is an improvised solo melody by the main singer) and in the slow emotional singing and Tarab.
Mainly the second doted croche should be emphasized, and the left hand rhythm should be maintained steady till the end of the movement. The rhythm has a weighty and moving forward feeling.
أَرى أَهلَ لَيلى أَورَثوني صَبابَةً
وَمالي سِوى لَيلى الغَداةَ طَبيبُ
إِذا ما رَأَوني أَظهَروا لي مَوَدَّةً
وَمِثلُ سُيوفِ الهِندِ حينَ أَغيبُ
The second movement announces the beginning of the sad story: The parents of Layla locked her up, so that she can’t meet Qays anymore. In the middle part, the memory of the two children comes back, but in a sad mood.
This movement uses a rhythm called “Maksoum”, it’s an Egyptian dance rhythm that usually makes all the audience clap! This is the pattern of the rhythm:
Usually played with an accent on the second croche.
The melody in the second movement moves against the rhythm by emphasizing every time a different beat from the measure. All these small motives work together to help the listener imagine the desert where ََQays and Layla lived and the harsh and extreme climate change there.
The middle part is a memory from the first movement, and after this part end, the tempo doesn’t get back to primo (stays 80 bpm).
أمر على الديار ديار ليلي
أقبل ذا الجدارَ وذا الجدارَ
وما حب الديار شغفن قلبي
ولكن حب من سكن الديارَ
The third movement discusses how Qays misses Layla deeply, and how he is not able to forget her, but instead, his love continued to grow more and more, as his sadness did.
This movement have the same rhythm as the famous Mouwashah “Lama Badda yatathanna”, which is “Samai Thakil”, and it’s a heavy and steady rhythm with the following pattern:
It’s important in Measures 3 and 4 (as for measures 13 – 14), that we listen to the intervals at the end alone and clear.
All the staccato notes ending of the measures should be very sharp and secco (Measures 6-7-9-10-16-17)
جُنِنتُ بِلَيلى وَالجُنونُ يَسيرُ
عَلى حُبِّها عَقلي يَكادُ يَطيرُ
وَما بِيَ إِلا حُبُّ لَيلى كِفايَةٌ
جُنوناً وَإِنّي في الغَرامِ أَسيرُ
The fourth movement, describes how Qays gradually becomes insane, especially after the marriage of Layla, and how he accepts the situation as a result of his great love. And how his madness causes him a great pain and depression, and reflects his great effort to fights his destiny in his hopeless love, and finally he becomes incapable to understand others or even to communicate with them.
The rhythm used in this movement is called “Aksak 5/4”, which has the following pattern:
The final repetition is a slow fade out, which becomes slower. heavier and quieter, always emphasizing the dialog between the accents of the left and right hand, which will be a transition to the fifth movement.
Every time the tempo slows down, the rhythm becomes heavier more and more (especially in the left hand patterns), and the accents take more space and preparation.
Note that these two movements should be played without stop in between (attaca)
ألست وعدتني ياقلبُ أنّي
اذا ماتُبتُ عن ليلى تتوبُ
فها أنا تائبٌ عن حُبِ ليلى
فما لك كلما ذُكرت تذوبُ
The fifth movement talks about a stage when Qays loses his hope to be with Layla, after her death, and tries to forget her, but isn’t able even after many years of suffering.
The introduction should be half slower (croche = 60), than the speed after (noir = 60).
This is the darkest movement, we know that the end is near, and the death of Qays will happen soon. It should be calm, sad, depressing, painful and hopeless.
The performer should let the chords resonate, and make a full silence between phrases, without connecting the parts with pedal.
Sixth movement (“The big funeral”)
تَوَسَّدَ أحجارَ المهامِهِ والقفرِ
وماتَ جريح القلبِ مندملَ الصدر
فياليت هذا الحِبَّ يعشقُ مرة
فيعلمَ ما يلقى المُحِبُّ من الهجرِ
After Qays was found dead alone in the desert, fighting for his hopeless love, the sixth and last movement comes as a funeral, not for Qays’ death, but for his sadness. It’s a transformation of a sad story to a legendary one about love and fidelity.
It’s a long progression, growing up slowly, mixing the motives of the previous movements, and collecting the painful events in the story to transform them into a legendary story about love and fidelity. It’s a travel for the soul of Qays from his miserable life to his glorious afterlife where he meets Layla again.
Exaggerating the dynamics helps build this long progression.
The coda is a beginning to a new story, this time a story of love instead of suffering and pain.
The rhythm used is called “Awiss”, which has the following pattern:
Traditionally used in the “Nawbeh” which is an Arabic ritual music played during the funerals in the desert, which is characterized by a heavy and slow rhythm, with space between the strong beats.
It’s very important to play the pedal as written, and to give time for the listener by playing a complete silence between the phrases.
“You mentioned most important things that a band leader will look for. A band conductor should know exactly what kind of sound he wants from his ensemble. Mainly that is caused by the level of the band and its available instrumentation. A dark and warm sound would be always my personal aim, perfectly in tune. The low brass/woodwinds have a determinant role on it.
Well, that is more of a practical aspect. Definitely, it is an important part to play chorales. Easy chorales that are in the same key with after played music! The band players should understand their role in the main chords. In a choral, the main melody must be led (highlighted). While in fermata chords the priority should be given to low voices.”
Quote by Sergei Boulon, music director at LEBAM, artist director of the Lebanese Higher conservatory big-band, and Tuba player at Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra.
Warm-up Chorale for orchestra is a collection of nine chorales taken from famous classical music pieces as symphonies, preludes, strings quartets by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Schubert… to be used as a warm-up, intonation, articulations… exercises for your music ensemble, suitable for any level and any kind of ensemble from a quartet to the full symphony. The product includes the following parts
Woodwinds quartet(include piccolo/ Flute/ Oboe/ Cor Anglais/ Clarinet in Eb/ Clarinet in Bb/ Clarinet in A/ Bass Clarinet in Bb/Bassoon) Saxophones quartet(include Soprano Saxophone/ Alto Saxophone/ Tenor Saxophone/ Baritone Saxophone) Recorders quartet(include Soprano Recorder/ Alto Recorder/ Tenor Recorder/ Bass Recorder) Brass quartet(include Horn in F/ Trumpet in D/ Trumpet in C/ Trumpet in Bb/ Trombone/ Bass Trombone/ Euphonium/ Tuba) SATB choir(include Soprano/ Alto/ Tenor/ Bass) Strings quartet(include Violin 1/ Violin 2/ Viola/ Cello/ Contra-bass)
After my participation in the LIMF Composition Competition 2020, with exactly 50 other composers around the world, I was so proud that my piece “Cry from a frozen pole” for Baritone, piano, violin, viola, and cello, on a poem by my friend Shadi Sawwan win an “HONORABLE MENTION” and the “SPECIAL PRIZE BY CLUSTER” (Alternate)
The full announcement:
Dear composers, Thank you once again for participating in the LIMF Composition Competition 2020! The awards were announced earlier today (you can catch the live stream of the event on our facebook page) and in case you missed it, please find them mentioned below and on our website www.lunigianamusicfestival.com/composition-competition. Please be aware that we had exactly 50 applications so it was a very challenging selection! FIRST PRIZE New York Debut, Professional Recording and video featured on the SIMC YouTube Channel
WINNER: Riccardo Perugini: “Fiore di Plastica” for Violin, Cello, Prepared Piano and Soprano
WINNERS Performance at the Lunigiana International Music Festival
João Isaac Marques: “Fitocontos Amazonicos” for Piano Quartet
Gianluca Verlingieri: “Ghedini Fragmente” for Piano Trio
Qingye Wu: “Guangzou Wu’s Paintings” for 2 Pianos
Joshua Fishbein: Deep in the Quiet WoodFrancesco Cultreri: Quintet
Wajdi Abou Diab: Cry from a frozen pole SPECIAL PRIZE BY CLUSTER:Partial scholarship to attend “Puccini International Opera Composition Course” in Lucca (2021) and having your opera premiered in italy in 2022
Joshua Fishbein: Deep in the Quiet Wood
Alternate: Wajdi Abou Diab: Cry from a frozen pole
N.B. Winners performances will happen at least once and pieces might be performed more than once and in different locations. Honorable mentions might be considered for performances as well.