Arabic Music Listening Exercise

It’s a new year and I couldn’t be happier! January is always an exciting time, especially if you are excited by goals, resolutions and new office supplies like me…truly I am still on the hunt for a stylish weekly whiteboard for my office. I find myself trying out new activities to satisfy my resolutions. Last year, it was new ways to organize and inspiration boards.

This year, it is journaling and writing. I’ve found myself diving into blog posts, journals and collages. I’m writing a…

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The Music of Suhaila Salimpour’s Enta Omri

Hi all! The Atlanta debut of Suhaila Salimpour’s Enta Omri is just around the corner. One of the things that makes me so excited about this show is that it features classical Arabic music. Now, while that excites this Arabic music nerd, Arabic music is not something many people are very familiar with. I’d like to help bridge that gap with some preparation. Yes, many of these pieces are long, deep with meaning and every changing Arabic maqam (musical modes). I’d like to try to simplify some of these concepts for you in…

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Tips for Performing with a Live Band

Performing with a live band is probably one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had as a performer. As a dancer and a musician, it’s what I live for. I’ve often joked that if someone approached me with a gig to perform with a professional Arabic band 5 nights I week, I’d drop my entire life to do it. Interaction with live musicians is an experience I hope all…

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Sheet Music Resources – UPDATED 9/29/10

Updated this post on 9/29/10 with more resources.

I’ve taken it upon myself to get musicians in Atlanta to see my point of view – that Middle Eastern music is amazing and should be played often! In doing this, I’ve also taken it upon myself to collect a large amount of classical Arabic sheet music. Here is a list of sheet music resources that I’ve found to be very helpful: – UPDATED 9/29/10 Great resource for Balkan, Turkish, and SCA-type music
– UPDATED 9/29/10 Avatar’s Early Music Books. His arrangements are…

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TribalCon 2010

Another TribalCon successfully completed, and damn am I inspired. For me, this TribalCon was also a great reminder about my love of music, or really, my love of PLAYING music. I took a big step this year and performed a piece on violin for the student troupe’s performance of Veselba. It’s been a great path getting back into playing violin and Saturday’s performance felt great along side the musicians Darbuka Dave, August Hoerr, and Teejei to bring the piece to life for the students. Thanks guys, that really meant a lot to play with you!

This year’s Friday…

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Drum Solo Construction

This past week I taught a drum solo workshop in Orlando, and I had a great time creating a workshop based on “how to construct a drum solo.” I know from personal experience, creating a drum solo that is memorable, show-stopping, and awe-inspiring is a daunting task. What I did notice while researching drum solos, however, is that most Middle Eastern drum solos have common elements if made for a belly dancer, more specifically they will probably have the following elements: Entrance, Answer and call, Pop/slap, Beledi resolution, Shimmy section (could also be finale), Finale punch line.

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Sheet Music Craziness!

I read sheet music. I was trained as a musician to read sheet music. Learning pieces by ear has been a challenge to say the least, learning Middle Eastern songs by ear? HA! I need some guidelines before I can dive off that cliff. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve bought some Arabic sheet music compilation books and CD’s with sheet music files. I found these on all corners of the inter-webs and beyond. I’ll share my initial thoughts with each…

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Play in the Park

This weekend was just delightful. I sat in Piedmont Park for about 4 hours playing tabla with some other drummers at the Atlanta Burners Play in the Park event. I met some very cool people and worked on my slap for a while. I almost have it…We played around with a couple f rhythms I’d never tried before which was nice. We kept the rhythms going for a good length of time feeding off one another’s variations of the rhythm. I guess you could say my “ess” was on! This is one of the pics I found from Facebook,…

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