DESERT RHAPSODY - Original Song by KHAARTOUM
I COMPOSED this SONG to LOVE, really. 'DESERT RHAPSODY' is a sort of 'ENGLISH GHAZAL'. It interprets our 'ROMANCE PILGRIMAGES' to that 'somewhere' UNREAL... to a FOREIGN LAND of 'LOVE' that glitters PROMISE and THRILL and HOPE in our MINDS EYE... This JAUNT into this EXOTIC place 'LOVE' offers us a chance to DREAM. Sometimes we find ROMANCE, or a FLING, or sometimes our DREAM and REALITY clash throwing us into DISSAPOINTMENT and HURT...but the strange thing about THE HUMAN CONDITION, is that if we are THWARTED in that that STRANGE DESERT MIRAGE of LOVE...we dust ourselves down, recover our DREAMS...and before we know it...we are taking that JOURNEY to ROMANCE again with all our RAINBOWS FLASHING and off we go again HOPES in HEART...onto 'DESERT RHAPSODY'!...
"LOVE IS A REPETITIOUS DANGER YOU THINK I'D BE ACCUSTOMED TO..."...The same senitments on LOVE expressed in KHAARTOUM 'DESERT RHAPSODY' are also explored by CANADIAN SINGER/SONGWRITER: JONI MITCHELL in her 'SONG FOR SHARON' about the journey of SHARON leaving a broken relationship, dusting herself down to FIND ANOTHER LOVER..."First you get the kisses and then you get the tears, the ceremony of the bells and lace still avails this reckless fool here"..."I'll walk pastures by and by"...
Link to 'SONG TO SHARON' by JONI MITCHELL
ORCHESTRATED MONODY - THE BOMBAY FILMI SONG PIONEERS
In this COMPOSITION I wanted to EXPERIMENT with MONODY [a single melody with or without drums] as found in all of the DERIVATIVES of the PIONEERING work done by BOMBAY FILM STUDIOS in the 1930s to create a new genre of 'FILMI SONG'. The TRADITIONAL INDIAN MUSIC with its MEANDERING IMPROVISED MELODIES, TAAL [pulse] CYCLES and MIDDLE REGISTER LOW VOLUME TRADITIONAL INSTRUMENTS did not work in a precise medium like the CINEMA. SONG STRUCTURE had to be shifted to WESTERN POP SONG FORM [intro/verse/chorus/bridge etc.]; WESTERN INSTRUMENTS with WIDE RANGES like the VIOLIN, ACCORDIAN and BASS had to be employed; Plus ORCHESTRATION techniques like ROTATION of INSTUMENT SOUNDS and COMBINATIONS and THICKENING of TONE MASS [density of sound] all had to be brought together to create the FILMI SONG to fit the new INDIAN CINEMA SONG...
HOWEVER, although the INDIANS and later the ARABS and TURKS who also copied the GENRE to shape their music into POPULAR MUSIC FORMS...They all kept one thing...MONODY...That is music which is MELODIC...It works on SINGLE MELODY, maybe with DRUMS...INDIA, PAKISTAN, ARABIA and TURKEY did not IMPORT the WESTERN HARMONY with CHORDS and BASS LINE that is derived from the CHRISTIAN HERITAGE of the CHURCH and the ORGAN for HYMNS. EASTERN COMPOSERS stuck with MONODY [as fitting their RELIGIOUS CHANT and PRAYER]...so they ORCHESTRATED the MONODY!
COMPOSITIONAL THINKING...'VERTICAL' verses 'LINEAR'
In 'DESERT RHAPSODY' I exploit a lot of the COMPOSITIONAL THINKING of these EAST-WEST COMMERCIAL GENRES that I find so fascinating. If we are WESTERN MUSIC TRADITION, we COMPOSE 'VERTICALLY', which means from the BASS NOTE and UP THROUGH CHORDS and how CHORDS PROGRESS from ONE to ANOTHER in SEQUENCE...then the MELODY is FITTED ON TOP of the CHORD HARMONY.
I wanted to exploit a WESTERN FORM [sections over time] but I wanted to think of a TUNE from the BEGINNING to the END. This is often an EASTERN way of composing. However, that MONODIC MELODY can, even with the best soloist, become boring...so then the BOMBAY-STYLE ORCHESTRATION needs to be ADDED as small 'EVENTS' around the MELODY to keep it fresh for the listener. So, to recap, we are thinking in a LINE from the first note to the last note of the song...We are then, without reference to VERTICAL HARMONY, going to then pass over the MELODY at times different INSTRUMENTS and SOUNDS to REFRESH the LISTENER, plus add DRAMA and COLOUR to the SONG.
BREAKING THE WESTERN 'RULES' of ORCHESTRATION
Because our MONODIC, SINGLE MELODY is our COMPOSITION FOCUS, when we do add INSTRUMENTAL DECORATION along the way of the TUNE moving through the song, we DON'T have to follow the strict 'RULES' of ORCHESTRATION that regulates WESTERN HARMONY set out by theorists like PALESTRINA [1525-1594] or RIMSKY-KORSAKOV [1844-1908] that even still influence POPULAR MUSIC of the WEST now. In our ORCHESTRATED MONODY...we can BREAK 'THE RULES' of ORCHESTRATION because we are writing MELODICALLY not HARMONICALLY.
One of the strangest PHENOMENON of ORCHESTRATED MONODY of PAKISTAN CINEMA or TURKISH POP is the BREAKING 'RULES' of WESTERN ORCHESTRATION and using LAYERING. What we mean by LAYERED ORCHESTRATION is PLAYING ANOTHER MELODY/INSTRUMENT behind our MELODY as VARIETY or DRAMA or TONE MASS but NOT as 'HARMONY'. It is like an ACTOR acting a SCENE on a BARE STAGE...then when he REPEATS a LINE...we suddenly UNROLL a BACKDROP BEHIND HIM and the SCENE seems 'REFRESHED'. LAYERING is 'CHANGING THE BACKDROP' on the SINGER.
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