Khaled Jubran | Psalms

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Psalms

by Khaled Jubran

Innovative contemporary Arabic music from Palestine, virtuosic playing on Oud and Buzuq.
Genre: World: Middle East Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Isfahan
Khlaed Jubran
14:26 $0.99
clip
2. Safar (Journeying)
Khlaed Jubran
8:32 $0.99
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3. Blue Dive
Khlaed Jubran
8:20 $0.99
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4. Irani
Khlaed Jubran
9:16 $0.99
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5. Underground
Khlaed Jubran
5:56 $0.99
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6. Crucifixion
Khlaed Jubran
11:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
These pieces were composed in a manner that suits the musical idiom of Arab instruments, specifically Oud and Buzuq.
As opposed to the tradition of Arabic music where vocal music has been the main idiom of expression, these pieces place the Instrument at the heart of the creative process. This music aims to reveal its own essence to the listener with no verbal mediation. Hence, it is music that unfolds its own rhetoric.
These compositions try to explore the widest spectrum of expression achievable by these instruments. The absence of lyrics draws the composer to search for an alternative compass with which to navigate his route through uncharted waters.

Every Arab musician has experienced the frustrating incoherence of Arabic instrumental musical forms. Yet, this dullness might become a fertile ground for creativity and motivate the composer to weave new forms nourishing from the needs of the musical material.

“Isfahan” displays an intricate use of the five beat meter, as a musical theme that develops with the other themes and not as a mere measurement metric unit. This technique contributed enormously to the design of the piece’s unique form, which was not constructed according to a rigid preset structural scheme. The same applies to the human voice in “Blue dive”*, where it abandons its traditional role as an interpreter of the verbal text. Instead it becomes an additional musical instrument that glides within its independent melodic orbit, from which it responds to the other echoing instruments as an equal rather than subordinating the instrumental accompaniment as a supportive pillar. Here again a new concept inspires the structural features needed to enhance the polyphony of two Buzuqs, voice and percussion.


Is oriental music a “Tarab” dedicated servant by definition?
Is it really doomed to express only “ecstatic joy” or “devastating sorrow”? - Two opposed extremes that ultimately unite through music and create a unique state of mind known as “Tarab”!
What about the rest of the emotional realm that dominates the majority of our human being? What about fear? What about jealousy? What about hope, anxiety, boredom, greediness, despair, frustration, melancholy? And what about the daily “exultation” when passing the military checkpoint in one piece?
What about the religious conviction which shamefully collapses once the “Lord of the white world”, defending his “holy cross”, reaches over and crucifies you, your brothers and your mother tongue over the tin of the shanty huts in Jenin or Al-Basra?
What should a composer write on that day and what should a musician play – Dreamy Andalusian Muwashahat? Ottoman dandy dances? Won’t the serenity of their beats be discordant with the nightly hectic bombing of Bethlehem?
How could he evade searching for the musical expression of Crucifixion?

“Psalms” was composed during the years of the last Intifada, as the only escape road from the absurdity that endangers sanity, and as the only answer I can give to the recurring question that haunts each and every Arab today: “ Who are you?”

Khaled Jubran was born in Galilee in 1961.After studying and teaching at Jerusalem\'s Rubin Academy, in 1994 he founded and headed the Arabic music department of the Palestinian National Conservatory of Music in Ramallah as well as being a member of its Oriental Music Ensemble. In 2000, he founded the Urmawi Centre for Mashriq Music, named after the Abbassid musician. An independent institution, the centre brings together Palestinian musicians, teachers and students, preserving existing or potential practitioners\' knowledge of the musical heritage, producing contemporary music and putting on performances throughout the country.
He is a virtuosic player on Oud and Buzuq, a music theorist and a prominent educator.

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Reviews


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Jeffrey Muhr

tremendous
Agree with the previous review. This is tremendous music, deeply rooted in Middle Eastern tradition, yet adding a new and fresh dimsension. His buzuq and oud playing are passionate and original.
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Riki Ophir

rare and unique
Although I\'m deeply interested in Near-Eastern music, I rarely come across a musician that does something both new and deep with this tradition. In Psalms Khaled Jubran\'s does exactly that. It is an emotionally penetrating and a fascinating work. You\'d want to listen to it again and again. In his notes Jubran writes about the need for Arabic music to express more than it was used to traditionally, immense sadness or extreme happiness (I\'m quoting from memory), and to speak also pain and anger (related in this case to the Israeli occupation). The relation between music ans reality is for me a vast open question, but Jubran\'s answer is a very convincing one. What can I say, it is a rare precious gem.
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