Archive for the ‘Instrumental’ Category

Bassem Rizk - 2004 - Echoes from a past

Bassem Rizk was born on April 10, 1979 in Achrafieh, Beirut (Lebanon). The capital was then ravaged by war, and resulted in the forced relocation of his family to Amchit near Byblos, cradle of the Phoenician civilization and the alphabet. Surrounded by a family of artists and largely inspired by the musical passion of his father, who also played this string musical instrument, Bassem was initiated to the rudiments of the oud (Arabic lute), at a very young age. At five-year old, Bassem drew media attention thanks to his exceptional talent and virtuosity playing on the oud, keyboard, and the tabla (percussion instrument).

Bassem Rizk باسم رزق
Viewed as a true musical phenomenon, he was broadcasted on all the regional radio stations. At the age of fifteen, driven by his curiosity to learn more about the oud, he was introduced to the method of the “School of Iraq” tutored by the famous musician Munir Bashir. This great master of music awakened Bassem’s passion to take on in-depth studies in order to fully understand the complexity of the oud, whose origins date back more than 4000 years. During his studies, he returned to the roots of the fundamentals of the oud and studied different works and essays of school famous luminaries, Al-Sharif Mohiedine Haydar, Shouker Selman, and Jamil Munir Bachir.
After his own personal experimentation on the oud, he again attracted the attention of music critics with his performances of “maqam”, a style that demonstrates a great mastery of counterpoint and musical discourse. At the age of twenty, he enrolled at the National Conservatory in Beirut.
Throughout his journey, Bassem deepened his musical culture appreciation through his studies of theories of eastern music. He participated and won the 3rd prize at the prestigious international competition of the Arab League in cooperation with the University of the Holy Spirit at Kaslik – USEK, Lebanon.
Bassem is tenacious in contributing assiduously to the development of different approaches related to the musical oud. Driven by his love for music and this noble instrument, Bassem aims to provide a new tone -, a young, updated and modern musical approach accessible to all.
Through his musical research he has envisioned and developed ways that enable him to break the “wall” between East and West. He has drawn the attention of various directors in the theaters and movies industries for whom he has composed original music to underpin their respective works.

In 2004, he released his first CD entitled “Echoes From A Past” upon containing all exclusively original compositions bear his signature. In 2005, Bassem completed the development of a new oud method, which began to be taught at the EDMGY, (The Ghassan Yammine school of music) in Lebanon.
Bassem currently performs on prestigious musical stages in Lebanon and various European countries. Considered by many critics to the new hope of classical Arabic music, Bassem Rizk is currently one of the pillars of his generation regarding for his knowledge and mastery of the oud.

Track List:

1 –  To My Father (إلى أبي (05:21
2 –  Hanine (حنين (04:36
3 –  Catoons (صور متحركة (01:50
4 –  Hijaz Kar (حجاز كار (08:06
5 –  Echoes From A Past (صدى من ماض (02:06
6 –  Organza (أورغانزا (04:31
7 –  Hamasat (Whispers) (همسات (04:40
8 –  Story Of Roses (حكاية ورد (02:49
9 –  Virtuose (فيرتويوز (03:59

Duration : 33:58 | Bitarte : 192 kBit/s | Year : 2004 | Size : 59 mb

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Hewar Front cover

This is the first album by one of Syria’s most popular instrumental bands. The leader and clarinet player Kinan Azmeh is a graduate of the famous Juilliard School of music, and the only Arab musician to have received the first prize at the Rubinstein competition. The band also includes oud player and conductor of the Oriental Orchestra Issam Rafea and soprano Dima Orsho. Their music is a “dialogue” (Hewar) between jazz, classical and oriental music .

Bringing together an amazingly diverse array of musical influences, and drawing from a variety of musical traditions—namely Arabic, jazz, scat, opera and classical music; is what makes Hewar a truly unique venture. The band, building on the acclaimed individual talents of its members, juxtaposes and meshes these styles to create a truly one-of-a-kind genre-defying musical experience.


Issam Rafea, Dima Orsho, Simon Mreach, Khaled Omran, Badi Rafea, Kinan Azmeh

The band includes clarinet player Kinan Azmeh, Oud soloist Issam Rafea, and lyrical Soprano Dima Orsho, all of whom are alumni of the Syrian National Orchestra. They live in various parts of the world, however, which enhances the band’s cultural medley of influences and musical tastes.
Hewar released their first album in 2005 in Beirut and Damascus; it was produced by Incognito. The latter also released the band’s next album, ‘9 Days of Solitude’, in 2007; it was recorded in collaboration with three distinguished musical guests: Manfred Leuchter, Steffen Thormahlen and Antoine Puetz.

Featuring: Kinan Azmeh – Clarinet | Issam Rafea – Oud, Vocals | Dima Orsho – Vocals | Badi Rafea – Percussions | Simon Mraych – Drums | Khaled Omran – Double bass
Music: Kinan Azmeh (2,6,7,8) | Issam Rafea (1,3,4) | Ghanem Haddad (5)

Track List:
1 – Departure Issam Rafea رحيل
2 – Evening Kinan Azmeh مساء
3 – Project Issam Rafea مشروع
4 – Loquacity Issam Rafea ثرثرة
5 – Dance Ghanem Haddad رقصة
6 – Prayer (Tribute to Edward Said) Kinan Azmeh صلاة
7 – Rituals Kinan Azmeh طقوس
8 – Ink Kinan Azmeh حبر

Duration : 64:22 | Bitarte : 224 kBit/s | Year : 2005 | Size : 111 mb

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Kinan Azameh

In the words of directors Sari Lluch Dalena and Keith Sicat, ‘Rigodon’ is “a film about outsiders, people on the periphery – exiles. This feeling of alienation is a universal one that expresses itself without words. Words may even be inadequate.This is where Kinan Azmeh’s score comes into play; the Syrian composer’s lush and haunting music possesses an intimate understanding of humanity: its emotions, yearnings, dreams and nightmares.
Azmeh’s score, mingled with the images from ‘Rigodon’, makes these human complexities transcend the muted silence of the exiles’ world”. Perhaps it is fitting to describe Azmeh’s expressive music with a word: powerful. It comes across as a combination of contemporary classical and ambient music, without however falling into the conventional clichés associated with these genres. ‘Rigodon’ is reminiscent at times of Philip Glass’s film scores and compositions for the cinema.

Kinan AzamehKinan Azmeh:

Hailed as a “virtuoso” by the New York Times, “unique sound” by the Daily Star and “engagingly flamboyant” by the L.A. Times, Kinan Azmeh is one of Syria’s rising stars. His utterly distinctive sound is now fast gaining international recognition.

Born in Damascus, Kinan was the first Arab to win the premier prize at the 1997 Nicolai Rubinstein International Competition, Moscow. A graduate of New York’s Juilliard school, and of both the High institute of Music and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering, Kinan is currently a doctoral music student of Charles Neidich at the City University of New York.

Kinan has appeared worldwide as a soloist and composer. Notable appearances include: Opera Bastille, Paris; Tchaikovsky Grand Hall, Moscow; Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, New York; the Royal Albert hall, London; Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires; der Philharmonie; Berlin; the Kennedy Center, Washington DC; and the opening concert of the Damascus Opera House. He has appeared as soloist with orchestras such as the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, The Bavarian Radio Orchestra and The Kiev Kamerata under such reputed conductors as Solhi al-Wadi and Daniel Barenboim. He has shared the stage with Marcel Khalife, Francois Rabbath, Mari Kimura, Elliott Sharp, Katia Tchemberdji, Kani Karaca and members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

Compositions include several works for solo, orchestra, and chamber music; film, live illustration, and electronics, his multimedia work “Gilgamesh” with visual Artist Kevork Mourad has been touring the US and the middle east since 2006. His recordings include three albums with his ensemble HEWAR, a duo album with Sri lankan-Canadian pianist Dinuk Wijertatne and several soundtracks for film and dance. He serves on the advisory board of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra, and is artistic director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Music Ensemble, with whom he released an album of new music written especially for the ensemble by various Arab composers.

كنان العظمة
وصفته الديلي ستار بال “المبدع مميز الصوت ” و لوس أنجلس تايمز ب “الآسر المتألق”
من مواليد عام ١٩٧٦،خريج المعهد العربي للموسيقى ، خريج المعهد العالي للموسيقى متتلمذا على أناتولي موراتوف، كما يحمل شهادةً البكالوريوس في الهندسة الكهربائية من جامعة دمشق حائز على الماجستير من معهد “جوليارد” للموسيقي في نيويورك متتلمذا على تشارلز نيديش. يحضر حاليا لدرجة الدكتوراه في الموسيقى في جامعة نيويورك،. حاز كنان العظمة على الجائزة الأولى في مسابقة نيقولاي روبنشتاين الدولية للعازفين الشباب في موسكو عام ١٩٩٧.

ظهر كنان كعازفٍ منفردٍ ومؤلف موسيقي على نطاق عالمي في قاعات هامة منها أوبرا الباستيل – باريس ، قاعتي كارنغي و أليس تولي – نيويورك ، مركز كينيدي – واشنغتون، مسرح كولون – بيونس أيرس ، قاعة ألبرت الملكية – لندن، قاعة الفيلهارموني – برلين، قاعة تشايكوفسكي الكبرى في موسكو، و دار الأوبرا السورية في حفل افتتاحها.

وعزف بقيادة عدد من أشهر قادة الأوركسترا في العالم مثل: جون آدمز، السير روجر نورينجتون، شارل دوتوا، دانييل بارينبويم، إسحاق بيرلمان، لاري راكليف، أحمد الصعيدي، صلحي الوادي، و آخرين. شاركه المسرح فنانون مرموقون مثل ماري كيمورا، مارسيل خليفة، ايليوت شارب، سيلفان كساب ، كاني كاراشا، كاتيا تشيمبيردجي، كيفورك مراد ، وغيرهم .

مؤلفاته تضم عددا من موسيقى الأفلام، أعمال موسيقية- مرئية حية، أعمال أحادية (سولو)، موسيقى حجرة، والكترونية. تضم تسجيلاته ألبومين لفرقته حوار و عدد من الأشرطة الصوتية للأفلام والرقص.
كنان العظمة هو المدير الفني لأوركسترا مهرجان دمشق لموسيقى الحجرة .

Track List:

1 –  Dream (05:53)
2 –  Intro (01:49)
3 –  Couples (03:10)
4 –  Flashback (01:30)
5 –  Love After Ink (03:08)
6 –  Journey (02:49)
7 –  Montage (01:27)
8 –  Final (02:28)
9 –  Credits (02:44)
10 –  Dream Returns (05:51)

Duration : 30:49 | Bitarte : 192 kBit/s | Year : 2007 | Size : 44 mb

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Mohsen Subhi - 2006 - Mawasem

Mohsen Subhi (Arabic: محسن صبحي‎, also, Mohsen Subhi Khalil AbdelHamid Ataya) (October 4, 1963–August 2, 2009) was a Palestinian composer of classical Arabic music and arranger of modern Palestinian music and folk song.

A master oud player and percussionist, Subhi was born in Ramallah, Palestine on October 4, 1963, where he established himself as a young musician, composer, performer and teacher. He moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1997 and continued living and working in Palestine, the United States (Boston and San Francisco) and Jordan.

Mohsen composed, arranged, (re)interpreted and performed music for television, plays, films and live audiences. After receiving a grant to record his second classical Arabic music (instrumental) CD, Mohsen Subhi (also known as Abu Kinaan) died as a result of an unfortunate accident on August 2, 2009 in Ramallah. He was buried in Al-Bireh.


In 2006, the Lebanon based independent record label Incognito. released Mohsen Subhi’s instrumental, Mawasem [Seasons], the first compilation of his renowned composition of oud pieces, accompanied by bass, cello and piano (featuring Antoine Lammam – percussions).

In Mawasem, Subhi starts in maqam, in a circle widening with revelation, proceeding to a point where, necessarily, commentary falls short. And then there is the passage… He proceeds with working the maqam, confounding it, subtly morphing its identity into hybrid, genuine forms, loading every sound with the pangs of yet unborn maqams… Breaks are not expected in the moments and the spaces they span. Breaks are expected in their reflections. The ‘oud trembles, groans, lurches, longs… The ‘oud listens to its echo. The echo of the ‘oud infuses the horizon of the rhythm as homogenous column. And in the end, the maqam settles on the inevitability of its absence.

Mohsen Subhi has a very personal way of playing the oud, due to his previous experience as a percussionist and his subtle assimilation of Indian, African and Mediterranean influences. The album has received popular and critical acclaim in Lebanon: It is difficult not to fall helplessly in love with Mohsen Subhi’s bewitching album Mawasem. Subhi’s masterful oud playing is akin to a mystical art, making this CD breathtaking listening. (Rabih Z, Time Out Beirut, June 2006)


1 – ‘Al Bal (عالبال   (05:43
2 – Nafetha (To A Friend)  (نافدة   (05:28
3 – ‘Oubour (عبور (02:17
4 – Ta’ammol (تأمل (05:34
5 – Hewar (حوار (09:42
6 – Irtijal (ارتجال (02:45
7 – Takassim (تقاسيم (05:24
8 – Bila Enwan (بلا عنوان (06:32
9 – Zikrayat (ذكريات (02:53

Duration: 46:12 | Bitrate: 192 kBit/s | Year: 2006 | Size: 66 mb

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Dhafer Youssef Digital Prophecy 2003 Front

Album: Digital Prophecy
Artist: Dhafer Youssef
Country: Tunisia


1 – Diaphanes (05:43)
2 – Aya (07:39)
3 – Dawn Prayer (03:56)
4 – Sparkling Truth (05:49)
5 – Ysamy (08:41)
6 – Holy Breath (03:08)
7 – Seventh Heaven Suite (07:42)
8 – Woodtalk (03:48)
9 – Holy Lie (09:30)
10 – Flowing Water (09:41)

Duration: 67:34 | Bitrate: 320 kBit/s | Year: 2003 | Size: 161 mb

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