Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rock On

Two friends and I attended a concert at the Odeon Amphitheater downtown last night. I was pleased with the performance. I had no idea what to expect because it was going to be Arabic music and I don't understand much of it. This particular band had a bassist, a keyboard player whose right hand was wrapped in bandages, a lead electric guitarist, a drummer who used traditional Arab drums, and then an Egpytian player who blew into a flute-like object that produced harmonic-type sounds.

The featured singer was a petite, young Egyptian woman with long wavy locks. She had a soothing, pleasant voice even when the hard Arabic sounds came forth from her vocal chords. She sang three types of songs: melancholy ballads, angry anthems, and light tunes. Her character seemed best to represent the light, bubbly tunes, but those were the ones least sung.

I was very pleased to know that musical bands are giving expression to the untold voices of the youth. I felt reassured that they had some outlet for their feelings and thoughts. I know it helped me when I was younger to sing a powerful song by the Who or some other expressive band to communicate my feelings and release the tension I felt from societal pressures. I'm glad to know it exists here.

The band played well, especially the bassist. I like that they seemed to enjoy what they were doing. Towards the end they were finally smiling. Some of the sounds were rifts from the 1970's, while I could detect the 80's and 90's as well, but they were merged with Arabic instruments and influences, which I applaud. Even though I could only understand three words, I felt like feelings and moods were communicated.

The venue was terrific. The Odeon theater is next to the Roman amphitheater; the temperatures was still warm enough not to need a light jacket; and the square around the theaters was filled with young soccer players, lazing cigarette smokers, and young families. It was good to see very many people enjoying themselves.

I like the new perspective I have on the music scene in Jordan. I'll go back for more.

4 comments:

  1. It sounds like an interesting experience. Whenever I'm in a situation where I don't understand the language, the feelings and body language become very important, so much so that they communicate very strongly to me as I'm probably more sensitive to them as well. Perhaps words are not the best method of communication at times. Music is a great communication tool.

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    1. It worked well for me; the others who went with me enjoyed it too and they are native Arabic speakers.

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  2. I can relate. There are some Arabic and African rhythms that I love and somereally get me moving and I have no idea what the lyrics may be about. I think there is a primal rhythm inside all of us that we can tune into. We might need to time to adapt sometimes, sit back and absorb, I think music often operates at an unconscious level for me.

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    1. Yes, it was easy to watch and listen. I felt a great deal of their angst, desolation, anger, and hope. I'll have to take in more of this stuff.

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