A Day and A Night
Amorfia Productions music release on cassette
A Music Review by Ma*Shuqa Mira
The latest musical release from Amorfia Productions
is passionate and exciting new music featuring the mastery of the Palestinian/Lebanese
brothers, Georges Lammam and Tony Lammam
from San Francisco. From a family of professionals involved in music and
film-- their father, Sobhi Lammam, was a film producer
in Egypt and Kuwait and their mother, Helene Amorfia,
was a well-known singer of Arabic music--the Lammam brothers, Georges
on violin, Tony on doumbeq and Elias on accordion, first
performed for a church. Later they were the core of a 12-member
ensemble, The Golden Stars Band, which played five-star hotels
in resort areas throughout the Middle East in addition to radio and television.
In 1987, Georges came to America to join his brother, Tony who was living
in Miami, Florida. Word of this extraordinary musician traveled
to the West Coast and a contract brought Georges to San Francisco.
Mr. Lammam has co-founded with his wife, Jeanette
Cool, Amorfia Productions, a company dedicated to
the education and performance of Arabic music and dance. Three recordings
have been produced and several works in progress are part of a curriculum
for teaching and performance. Mr. Lammam has instructed two courses
in Arabic music at the University of California in Berkeley,
and has been on the faculty of the Mendocino Middle Eastern Music
and Dance Retreat for eight years. He is currently working
with noted dancer, Shareen El Safy on an educational
performance forum: Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Egypt's Master Artist: A
Dancer's Guide to Exploring the Oriental Form which will be presented
around the United States in the next two years.
For the accomplished dancer, this is music that inspires passion in your
dance and has a hot, complicated drum solo to display your dancing talents.
This audiocassette reproduces the musical mastery of these two artists
and commands a listener to become involved in the passionate display of
talent. This is truly music produced for the most proficient dancer
as it provide musical flourishes, accents, transitions and the delightful
sections of interplay between the musicians that lend itself to a most
complex performance. Performance to this music requires grace, as
well as knowledge of Middle Eastern riffs, embellishments and style of
dance that corresponds and harmonizes with the special qualities of each
This audiocassette has five sections. Combining the various sections
provides an opportunity to construct several different performances.
The title of the audiocassette, Fyom Weleleh, composed by Mohammed
Abdel Wahab. translates as "A Day and A Night".
Georges Lammam plays violin and oud, Tony Lammam, doumbeq and tambourine.
Jeanette Cool, Georges' wife and Amorfia Productions' manager, uses synthesizer
to add texture and flavor.
The audiocassette begins with the song for which the tape is titled:
The piece begins with a violin solo transitioning to a three-doum masmoudi
rhythm with violin that moves into a moderate tempo for a striking Egyptian
walking entrance. Then, the melody alternates between the violin
and oud in a playful call and answer section. Tambourine and doumbeq
overlay the music with pops and shakes providing a base for layering shimmies
and dynamic Egyptian pops by the dancer. Georges' violin is played
with modulating dynamics-a lilting melody with a special sound of "magic-a
trill that reminds one of Tinkerbell's magical appearances" which
provides a transition to the next section of music. The piece continues
with the interplay of flute and violin, punctuated by a pizzicato violin.
A dramatic ending with a wind-up of dynamic music ends this 9:28 minute
The next piece Ahlam, which means "Dreams",
is an 8-minute piece featuring Georges in solo violin.
The beginning of this piece requires a super sound system as it begins
with an infrasonic drone-the sort of sound quality that alerts your body
before your hearing picks up the sound. This beginning provides
an excellent anticipatory focus for the performance as the audience feels
the start of the musical piece. Georges plays a soulful violin solo
taqsim with trills and high and low violin call and answer sounds that
embellish the use of maqam in this style of improvisational music.
Ahlam is an appropriate piece for veils, taqsim and body undulations and
isolations as the dancer catches each nuance of trills and the call and
answer modality. The piece has a unique doumbeq and tambourine section
of four measures that makes a transition to a sweet, soulful and emotional
violin section perfect for capturing the taqsim maqam in undulations.
This piece enters a with a bolero/ chifte-telli rhythm section that transitions
to a heavy doumbeq and tambourine. The end of this piece returns to the
violin with light and heavy bowing that builds to a dynamic end.
Sa'at mebashufek ganbi, which means "Now,
seeing you beside me"-is a love song.
This musical piece features Georges' signature lilting violin
style akin to the vocal quality of singing highly prized by Arabs like
that produced by the famous Egyptian singer, Om Kulsoum.
This musical selection includes dynamic tambourine and doumbeq flourishes
for an exciting and emotional dance performance with layered shimmies.
The chifte-telli rhythm provides an upbeat sound like a "walk in
the park" and I envision Mona Said's tiptoe walk
in relevé with pointed toe touches.
The next piece, When Everyone Dances is a hot, complex
6:33 minute drum solo that features Tony Lammam's fantastic doumbeq playing.
This is indeed a challenging drum solo with a fast beginning that moves
into a slow baladi with syncopated rolls and pops. There is a nice
long roll with pops overlaying the baladi rhythm to a stop. Then,
the four measure hagalla drum solo patterns with finger rolls for nice
¾ shimmies and chest pops and isolations. This drum solo
contains all of the traditional and challenging doumbeq patterns you will
recognize from the famous dance routines. Nice extensive finger
rolls provide the expert dancer an opportunity to display her expertise
to shimmy and undulate simultaneously. The drum solo also provides
a 6/8 rhythm for nice ¾ shimmies with hip and body accents.
A dramatic cymbal crash provides dancers with a helpful signal of the
approaching end of this dynamic drum solo.
The last piece, the finale, is a musical reprise of Fyom Weleleh,
immediately follows the drum solo.
This piece provides a perfect musical structure that provides the performer
with an ending piece of music to complete her performance and exit the
stage. Fyom Weleleh, A Suite for Dance is a 30-minute musical set with
excerpted work from Mohammed Abdel Wahab that includes original violin
taksim and drum solo. This music provides a complete dance performance
and is also a beautiful collection of music for your listening appreciation.
I highly recommend this music for the inspiration it provides the performing
dancer and the enjoyment it will bring your audience. With this
music you can truly dream, dance and enjoy your passion for the dance.
It is passionate music from gifted musicians that spotlights their talents
in Arabic music that leads the dancer and her audience through musical
pathways filled with sentiments and passion.
The audiocassette tape is available
71 Hartford Street,
San Francisco, California 94114-2013,
email@example.com at $12.00 each postpaid.
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