Gilded Serpent presents...
Yair Dalal in Boulder, Colorado
prior to his Boulder, Colorado concert, Yair Dalal
had just finished teaching
an Israeli folk song at a picnic table in the middle of the Mendocino
Woodlands. "That song is so beautiful, it is a gift from God,"
same attitude of reverence was evident throughout his Colorado
concert and workshop on September 6, 2003.
gave a concert produced by Sheldon Sands of Shalhevet
Productions. The concert included traditional Hebrew songs,
Iraqi folk music, Bedouin songs and original compositions. Mr.
Dalal first played a series of solo pieces on oud and violin and
was later joined by several Colorado artists.
with local modern dancer, Keren Abrams, to create
a visual interpretation of the music different from the more common
belly dance style. One particularly outstanding piece was a sama'i,
which is a traditional rhythm in 10, with the major accents on
the first, sixth, and seventh beats. The song was composed by
Salim El Nur and performed as a duet between
Mr. Dalal and Ms. Abrams. Ms. Abrams was both dancer and percussionist.
As a percussionist, she embellished her rhythms with accents that
ranged from strong and foot-stomping to soft and delicate by using
a slight change in hand position.
Dalal then performed several pieces with one of Boulder's truly
brilliant drummers, Kathleen "Zahara" McLellan,
who played darabouka and zarb. One of the songs they played was
Ya Ribon Alam, a traditional Jewish Shabbat song sung
To close the
show, Yair teamed up with members of "Saltanah", a Colorado-based
Middle Eastern music ensemble. Instrumentation consisted of Yair
Dalal on oud, Marc Cornelius on ney, Pete
Jacobs on contrabass, and Daune "Sabaah" Greene
on riq and tar. The musicians' collective talent and artistry
produced a superb set of Iraqi folksongs, traditional Bedouin
songs, and Shabbat songs.
concert received a standing ovation from a packed house.
September 7th, Yair Dalal offered a two-hour workshop
on Middle-Eastern music. He defined the music as having two main
elements, melody and rhythm, with no intrinsic harmony.
He then divided
the melody section into four main categories based on a system
of musical scales called maqams. First he described a family of
maqams closely related to Western musical scales. Next he described
a family of maqams with intervals not normally found in Western
scales. The third family included maqams with quarter tones, which
are pitches that fall between Western sharps and flats. The last
family of maqams included combinations of both quarter tones and
unusual intervals. Each family was explained and illustrated with
musical examples on the oud.
He also related
the rhythmic component in a clear and insightful way. He began
with the simplest rhythm, the wahda, or the "one," and moved on
to more complicated patterns that included malfuf and sama'i.
All of the participants, whether new or familiar with maqam theory,
left with a much better understanding of Middle-Eastern music.
paraphrase Yair Dalal, I would say that his well-attended
Boulder concert and workshop were so beautiful, they were
"gifts from God."
Dalal's website: http://www.yairdalal.com
Middle Eastern Music Ensemble's website: http://www.saltanah.com
Sand's website: http://www.sheldonsands.com/