Today saw a wonderful performance of ‘Journey’, a new piece written and performed by 21 music students from schools in Abu Dhabi, and three of the members of Between The Notes. One of our students had brought along an Arabic song that we particularly liked, and we used fragments of it to seed a new, 20 minute, work; taking those fragments, the young musicians wrote there own melodies, bass lines and rhythmic structures, and the piece grew from there. They have been a real joy to work with, and the concentration and atmosphere in the concert were just fantastic. For us it was a new experience to work with the Arabic scale, and it was very interesting, producing some great tunes and harmonies. I hope we get the chance to work in this way again with Arabic music, as we loved it!
Music is the universal language of mankind.
Tonight’s performance was beyond doubt the best I’ve attended in a long time. Well done. For me, it was more than just a performance; you’ve entertained us the whole time even when you were not playing. As a result, (and you’ve seen it happen) people didn’t want to leave!
The on-the-spot improvisation of Peace, Success and Harmony was truly peaceful, successful and filled with harmony. Moreover, it was amazing to see East meeting West in the piece “Rehla,” I was shocked to know that it was actually prepared in 5 days by those young talented students and yourself. Being a vocalist, in my mind I imagined an Eastern vocal line that would go perfectly with the piece. I don’t know what you would call it, but I think that in the Arab world they would call it a “Mawwaal” which is basically using your voice to sing without the use of words. I’d love to have a copy of “Rehla” if you had it recorded to further demonstrate.
Again, thanks to you and your colleagues for such a wonderful performance and please come back to Abudhabi for more concerts.
Sarah El Gohary
As a parent of one of the participating music students, I must say how privileged we were to have Matthew and his Between The Notes colleagues with us in Abu Dhabi this past week. It was amazing to see how such a special musical performance came about in such a short space of time – what a ‘Rehla’ – a true ‘Journey’ of discovery and creativity! Matthew’s infectious enthusiasm and energy inspired the young musicians to explore new vistas – the result of which was a memorable performance that hopefully will be made available on audio or dvd disk (?)
Come back next year, Matthew