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| || | Year : 2010|
"As I sit with Wissam at the American Colony Hotel, contemplating the idea behind the creation of this CD, I find myself drawn to his words that seem to be so passionately expressive. He starts to tell me about his eternal dilemma: how to combine the sound of pure classical Arabic music with contemporary Western music. He says “I had heard people trying to combine these two sounds but the result was a sound that was frail. My mind was telling me that, logically, this could not work, and I had to consult my heart.” People in various contexts who must make a decision stand at this crossroad every day, but I must say that in this work of art, Wissam’s heart won out.
Bayna Aqli Wa Qalbi explores a new sound in Palestinian music in an attempt to move away from what is “common.” It begins as a long journey in search of a mixture of Eastern instruments influenced by Western instruments (specifically, the oud and kanoon with electric guitar and drums) to try to reach a sound that is unique.
Wissam’s journey begins with his choice of lyrics - living the emotions and feeling the idea - then moves on to composition, music arrangement, recording the musicians, the vocals, mixing and mastering. Each has its trials and tribulations.
The lyrics for these songs encompass many varied aspects of life, with no focus on any one aspect in particular. Wissam tries to get the listeners used to this type of musical expression and maintains his own signature.
In two of the instrumental pieces, Wissam expresses his feeling that there is another way of musical expression - one in which a rest from the human voice and word is a relief.
The songs in Bayna Aqli Wa Qalbi were composed in a flexible, easygoing manner under the shade of sweet melancholy. Void of complexity. This is abundantly clear in Wissam’s vocal style, through which his core come alive.
Through Bayna Aqli Wa Qalbi, Wissam attempts to tell listeners that music is much broader than they can imagine; it does not fit into standardised categories. Yet he also makes clear his belief that true creativity and freedom can only emerge from solid grounding in the classical.
Wissam’s upbringing offered him the opportunity to listen to both classical Arabic as well as Western music such as jazz, rock, pop, and reggae. Within this treasure chest he discovered his own unique style.
Traditional Arabic music caters to al-motreb, the lead singer who is always at the centre; everyone and everything else was relegated to a supporting role. In Bayna Aqli Wa Qalbi, Wissam aims to alter this tradition, coaxing al-motreb to become part of the piece of pie rather than the cherry on top.
I left our meeting at the American Colony Hotel with a sense of elation. I was refreshed and much more aware of all that was involved in creating this musical wonder - the pleasures as well as the difficulties. " - Dr. Basel Huseini
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