Music

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Charlie Barber’s score is inspired by the sounds of traditional Arabian ensembles – sounds that would have been familiar to members of King Herod’s court.

During the performance the musicians play between 25 – 30 percussion instruments over a dramatic pre-recorded backdrop of vocal settings of psalms sung in Latin and Hebrew.

The ‘orchestra’ of percussion offers a rich mix of the familiar (bass drum, cymbals etc) and the more exotic, including the Sistra (originating from ancient Egypt), the Djembe (a traditional African drum) and Tibetan singing bowls.

Music chapters and rhythmic studies

1       Prologue – Psalm 1

Rhythmic Study aqsaq sama’i & sama’i thaqil (10/8 and 10/4: 3 + 2 + 2 + 3)

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2       How Strange The Moon Appears

Rhythmic Study aqsaq a’raj (9/4 and 9/8: 4 + 2 + 3)

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3       Night Garden

sama’i thaqil (10/8: 3+2+2+3)

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4       Bring Forth This Prophet

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5       Eyes Of Amber

Rhythmic Study dawr hindi (7/4 and 7/8: 3 + 4 and 4 + 3)

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6       The Red Blasts Of Trumpets

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Byzantine Kontakion

sama’i thaqil (10/8: 3+2+2+3) and zarafat (13/8: 3+3+2+5)

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7       The Beating Of Vast Wings

Rhythmic Study al-‘awis (11/4 and 11/8: 3 + 3 + 5)

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8       Stars Shall Fall Like Ripe Figs

Al-Farabi rhythms (5/8 & 2/4)

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9       A Garland Of Roses Like Fire

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10     Salomé’s Dance

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11     Night Garden (2)

sama’i thaqil (10/8: 3+2+2+3)

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12     How Strange The Moon Appears (2)

Rhythmic Study aqsaq a’raj (9/4 and 9/8: 4 + 2 + 3)

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13     A Garden of Myrrh

Arabic Fixed Rhythmic Patterns

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14     Eyes of Amber (2)

Rhythmic Study dawr hindi (7/4 and 7/8: 3 + 4 and 4 + 3)

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15     Epilogue

Rhythmic Study aqsaq sama’i & sama’i thaqil (10/4 and 10/8: 3 + 2 + 2 + 3)

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