Dancing with Your Soul — Arabic Nights
Editor’s Pick on Indie-Music.com: “…recognition that our screeners found your music of high quality…”
“Hey I’ve become totally addicted to your tune Damascus… I’d like to download this one to my collection which I’m playing while driving in my car. Please send me a link to buy this… I just can’t wait until I add it to my list of favourites!!!”
“I absolutely LOVE Dancing with your Soul!!!
Listening all the time to it and singing along…
great tool for my learning maqamat.”
— Ynyra Oshea
“Erotic, a desert flower in bloom…
for making love, not war…” — Tessalin Green
“I received your new CD in the mail and it is
incredible !!!! Dancing with Your Soul is one of the most amazing CDs in my collection!! Thank YOU.
— Lynnie Zsidov-Steiner
Cameron and Kristina have been deepening their musical and cultural connection to the Arabic-speaking people of the Middle East by making several recent journeys through Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and the West Bank of Palestine since 2002. They sang Iraqi love songs on the streets of Baghdad in solidarity with the Iraqi people in the spring of 2003. They performed Egyptian music for an audience of 60,000 in the Cairo Stadium in the fall of that same year. They were gifted a non-profit corporation in 2003 which is devoted to supporting Iraqi Refugee Children in Syria as well as helping to fund American musicians who work as Musical Ambassadors. Damascus, Aleppo, Lattakia, Beirout, Amman, Aqaba, Ramallah and Cairo have become fascinating new realms for their musical explorations. They have been busy traveling in the US and helping people better understand the Middle Eastern, Arabic, psyche. Well over 300 musical and multi-media presentations have recently been completed in more than half of the American states as well as in Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador and Mexico.
Smooth and Slow and Sensual…
Music Composed and Performed by:
vocals, oud, nay, cumbus, fretless bass, buzuk, frame drum
vocals, frame drum
Track 1 — 4:21: Jasmine — Arhythmic
Track 2 — 7:10: Damascus — Rhythm: Maqsum
Track 3 — 6:43: Ancient Wisdom — Rhythm: Jurjuna
Track 4 — 6:13: Desert Sunset — Rhythm: Baladi
Track 5 — 4:23: Mediterranean — Rhythm: Tsiftitelli
Track 6 — 7:42: Reflected Moon — Arhythmic
Track 7 — 2:45: Heartbeat — Rhythm: Heartbeat
Track 8 — 3:08: Galactic Breath — Arhythmic
Maqamat (Arabic Scales) in Order of Appearance: Saba, Shuri, Bayati,
Rast, Hijaz, Rahat el Arwah, Suznak, Bastanikar, Iraq, Nikriz, Nawa Athar, Kurd
For Detailed Structure of Maqam changes go to: www.gldesignpub.com/souldance.html
Rhythms: Maqsum 4/4, Jurjuna 10/8 (3+2+2+3), Baladi 4/4, Tsiftitelli 8/8, Heartbeat 5/4
This CD was recorded in two sessions in 2008 and 2009 in Boulder, Colorado.
Tracks 1 – 6: an improvisation led by Cameron. Tracks 7 – 8: an improvisation led by Kristina.
Copyright: 2008 by Cameron Powers — Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recording and Mixing by Cameron Powers — USA phone: 303-898-6125
Cover Art Design by Cameron Powers
Photo of Rooshana with veil by Fritz Penning
For more information on Cameron and Kristina’s
non-profit work on behalf of Iraqi refugees
in the Middle East, see the latest edition of
The Lonely Planet Guide To The Middle East
or go to: www.musicalmissionsofpeace.org
Ancient Arabic Musical Scales:
Indigenous Middle Eastern music is traditionally composed in musical scales called “maqamat.” Studying Maqamat leads a musician into a world wherein the concept of “musical notes” gradually fades in favor of a musical language dominated by exceedingly liquid musical phrases. Although we still analyze these phrases in terms of intervals between notes, we discover that they will be played with different pitches depending upon which maqam they are in. There is a conceptual system useful for Western musicians which offers 24 different notes per octave rather than just 12. This complexity yields to simplicity when we realize that musicians who play violins and ouds and who are not constrained by keyboards or frets will naturally gravitate toward what is called “just intonation.” These are musical intervals which are, from a physicist’s point of view, precisely in tune because the peaks and valleys of their sound waves actually line up, coincide and reinforce each other. Hearing these perfectly-tuned intervals can lead to a deeper appreciation of harmony. Some claim that they feel a peacefulness enter their souls and create a deep resting place. The emotional charisma of the musician is no longer required: the beauty of the music conveys itself. The “equal-tempered” scales which were invented along with keyboards 300 years ago in Europe are, as trained musicians know, actually quite seriously out of tune, frequently by factors of up to 20% per half step. Some even say that Western Culture is itself “out-of-tune” as a consequence! The Arab and Turkish musicians who have been the primary carriers of the ancient maqamat of the indigenous Middle East have resisted equal-tempered music from Europe. With maqamat they can play music that is perfectly in tune and they can utilize traditionally defined “blues notes” which bend pitches in certain ways and produce emotionally charged moments. Traveling in the indigenous Middle East and immersion in traditional music and dance provides an entrance into a new emotional and spiritual world with roots in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, Persia, Greece, Andalusia and the Fertile Crescent.
What a beautiful, soulful and hypnotic CD! Your voices are the perfect match for your instruments.
(Move over, Sarah Brightman!) It is heartwarming to know that you are using your talents to bring more peace and harmony to our world.
Hi! I listen to you and Kristina as I fall asleep on the beautiful cd you put out, Dancing With Your Soul: Arabian Nights!
Much love, Serena
Middle Eastern Jazz:
“Ya Layli Ya Aini” These are the chanted syllables of indigenous Middle Eastern improvisational singing. Literally “O Night O My Eyes” they refer to the sacred flirtation of looking into the eyes of the beloved during the night-time hours when life is soft and slow and beauty is to be admired. Lovers refer to each other as “My Eyes.” The intimacy of eye contact is magical and is a deep soul-to-soul communion. An Iraqi friend has told me that he can hear hundreds of differing nuances in subtly distinct utterances of these words “Ya Layli Ya Aini”. The majority of the “lyrics” on this CD are composed of these syllables although there are parts of Track 2 which contain the tearful lamentations in Arabic from a Syrian song, “Skaba.”
In this album I dare, with the help of Kristina’s beautiful echoing voice, to express the reperatoire of microtonal musical scales and their accompanying emotions which I have gathered from more than 30 years of study and absorption of Arabic music and culture. Largely inaccessible in the West, this music has proven to be an amazing gateway for me into depths of my own soul. A deep wailing worship for sensual energies is unleashed with tinges of surrender to the divine. What we know as “belly dance music” in English actually carries an ancient worship for the goddess which can be transformative for Westerners who truly open their hearts and souls to it. Multiple visits to Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco as well as Turkey and time spent living in Greece have opened glimpses of the extraordinary pristine grandeur carried by the ancient desert tribes which have been the seeds of so much mystical poetry, song and wisdom. Although I perform many traditional popular songs and some of those can be heard on other CD’s, tracks 1 – 6 of this album are my own improvisation. And the final two tracks feature the sounds of Kristina’s unaccompanied melodious voice. This album is designed for a slow ecstatic, romantic dance or meditative massage. Let your body respond and move by itself as you listen. Feel yourself Dancing with Your Soul! — Cameron Powers