Notes | Photos
Multi-Ethnic Star Orchestra Presents
its debut concert
Sunday, 11 March 2001 at West Los Angeles
r o g r a m
in maqam Kurd: Ya'qub
Arranged for Mesto by Nabil Azzam with Kareem Roustom.
This sama'i is widely heard in concerts and recordings throughout
the Middle East. It is composed in maqam (scale) kurd and
contains four different sections with one that repeats after
each section. In this arrangement one can clearly hear some
innovations such as prolonging the form and inserting new
phrases as well as variety of embellishments and instrumentation.
The sama'i is composed in rhythmic cycle of slow 8/10 except
for the last part that is in fast tempo.
Kurd: Jamil Owais
Arranged for Mesto by Kareem Roustom
In classical Turkish/Arabic traditions, concerts often open
with a medley in the same maqam. The Sama'i is followed
by Longa; A fast composition in douple meter. In this arrangement
Roustom successfully used both the traditional takht ensemble
and the orchestra. Kareem Roustom also plays the ud with
Suite composed and
arranged by Miamon Miller
From the opening zambekiko to the island balos and ending
with a karsilimas, this three-part suite traverses through
diverse Greek identities from big city smoke-filled tavernas,
to the sunny islands and finally back to the mainland village.
Of particular note is the inherent flexibility of the music
(and musicians) that permits cross-cultural improvisatory
solos in the balos. Miamon Miller is also a violinist with
Variation composed by Nabil Azzam. Arranged by Kareem
This basic melody is widely heard among the Sephardic communities
in Spain and the Balkan area. The text is written in Ladino
(a language mixed of Spanish and Hebrew). Azzam added two
distinctive to the original song melodies. In this arrangement
Roustom assigns the main melody to the clarinet.
al-Nay: Najieb Hankash.
Solo violin: Nabil Azzam
This melody is originally a song by the celebrated poet
Khalil Gibran. It was recorded by the Lebanese singer Fairuz
in the 1970s. The title could be translated as "the
eternal Nay (flute). In this performance Nabil Azzam plays
the vocal part on his violin while leading the orchestra.
Introduction of Banadi Alaik: Farid el-Atrache
Arranged by Nabil Azzam
Songs" is the name Nabil Azzam gave to songs composed
in Egypt starting in the 1940s that employed large ensemble
emulating the Western orchestras. Farid el-Atrache (d. 1975)
was one of the most talented singers and composers. He also
performed a number of his works using large orchestras.
Farid el-Atrache composed in a style that contains Western
musical element, including melodic, rhythmic and instrumental.
The present composition is the instrumental introduction
to the song Lahn al-Khulud or Banadi Alaik.
Songs Featuring Star Singer
Yawman (Nostalgia): Music and Lyrics by Rahabani Brothers.
Originally, this is one of hundreds of songs by the celebrated
Lebanese singer Fairuz who, together with her husband Assi
Rahabani and brother Mansour, established a new style and
a new musical culture in Lebanon. The Rahabani fame was based
on creating a wide variety of repertoire culminated by numerous
musicals that they produced for Fairuz.
Ta'ala (Come Back Soon).
Song of Leila Murad
Egyptian singer and movie satar Layla Murad had an interesting
career spanning from singing to movie acting. Being the
daughter and sister of famous composers, Zaki Murad and
Munir Murad shaped her style. She was known for her
sweet and expressive voice. Though performing in a popular
style, she maintained the purity of musical traditions.
Layla Murad was both admired by a wide audience as well as
by top composers of Egypt.
Hilwa Di (This Pretty Girl):
Egyptian composer Sayyid Darwish (d. 1923) is considered
the pioneer of the new style. Among his contributions are
the numerous musical plays in which he also participated
as a singer and actor. Darwish left a number of short songs
that were common among wide sectors of society. He is known
as the "peoples' composer".
Excerpts from the song Bi'umri Kullu (I loved you with
all my life) by Muhammad
Arranged by Nabil Azzam
The original song was performed by the famous singer Wardah
in 1984. This is another example of "Grand Songs"
that Abd al-Wahhab composed. In this arrangement Nabil Azzam
took the instrumental introduction of the song and two "interludes"
and formed them into one piece. While the introduction is
composed in a scale that is playable by the instruments
of the orchestra, the rest of the composition include notes
that are not in the Western scale. MESTO members refer
to such notes as "red notes";. This composition is rich
with melodic themes and rhythmic variety.