This release is a beautiful album, based on the rich cultural tradition of Lebanese music. It highlights the traditional oriental orchestra (takht), consisting of oud, buzuk, qanun, ney, oriental violin and double bass with Arabian percussions such as tabla, riqq, katem, mezher and others. Artistic director and primary conductor of the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music, Andre Hajj is a Lebanese musician who grew up in an atmosphere of music and arts encouraged by his mother. Influenced by this musical and artistic atmosphere, Hajj began to study music at the age of sixteen and graduated from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik with a Diploma in Oud and a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Music. He formed the group Amaken in 2003 to perform traditional Lebanese and Arabic music and he gave regular concerts in Lebanon and other countries.
We all know that beneath the surface of music, beyond the joy or excitement or even heartache that this beautiful language of sound can stir within us, lies the often mysterious realm of music theory—a complex syntax of structural and instrumental resources that composers may draw on. No matter what kind of music we listen to—symphony or string quartet, saxophone solo or vocal ballad, hip hop or Gregorian chant—we feel the impact of that music and have done so all our lives, even though we may not know how such impact is achieved, or understand the fundamental processes of musical composition. But what if we did understand how certain musical effects were achieved? What if we could learn to follow the often-intimidating language of key signatures, pitch, mode, melody, meter, and other parts of musical structure used by composers? What if we could recognize these various components at work as we listened to our favorite music? What if we could "speak" the language of Western music?