<% user.display_name %>
Tearing through musical landscapes and never arriving! Come on a sonic storytelling trip with me and the wonderful musicians I hand-picked to play on this chamber pop album. We are going to deliver a high-quality mix to do the music justice. For that we need your help! Bonus: there are two epic live orchestral tracks on this album!
3.435 €
3.000 € 2. Fundingziel
Projekt erfolgreich
25.08.19, 13:01 Zeina Azouqah
Thankfully, the goal has been reached and I'm in awe of how many people went above and beyond to contribute more than I ever imagined. People believing in independent music keeps me hopeful. I've made a little soundcloud playlist with some clips of the music. There will be nine tracks in total on the album. Nine lives, nine planets, nine little universes to dance in, get lost in and dream to...maybe even to heal.
13.08.19, 15:20 Zeina Azouqah
"Light", track seven on the album, has one of my favourite string arrangements I've ever written. While rehearsing it with the string players before going into the studio, I remember swaying at the piano and seeing Maria on violin out of the corner of my eye going "woooo" like she was in a park on a swing. Yeah, it's swinging and swinging in all senses. It's my first ever attempt at a jazz ballad and while I am in no way, shape or form a jazzer in the traditional sense, I think the experiment was a success! Thanks to all the musicians playing, of course. Another favourite thing is the singing saw floating on top of all the other instruments like a spectre. Do you know what it sounds like? There's a clip on my soundcloud.com/zazuka Maybe you can catch the singing saw there.
12.08.19, 16:06 Zeina Azouqah
Адыгэ уеи уеи! Track six on this album is a nod to my Circassian roots. For those of you who don't know, Jordan, where I was born, is home to many ethnic minorities. Circassians constitute less than 1% of the population. Though fully assimilated and regarding Jordan as my home country, my heart always longed for more connection to my roots. That usually came through food, dance and music (with many similarities to Georgian culture, acrobatics and all). Contact with fluent speakers of the language outside of a tiny circle in the family was rare. So aside from a few lessons in the summer with my uncle, I had to create my own curriculum from several sources to study the language. I should say this about the culture as well: before converting to Islam, the Circassians were Christians and also largely Pagans, with their own code of ethics and a pantheon of sub-deities serving a formless omnipotent deity. The code of ethics is still known and the stories are still shared, even though most Circassians identify as Sunni Muslim. Mezguasche ("Mez" = forest, "Guasche" = lady) is one of the mythological figures of the pantheon that fascinated me. I first heard a version of her song sung by Zawir Tut and was captivated by the melody. I imagined her as a tree with branches for hair, spreading to the skies and holding all the celestial knowledge. Her roots dug deep into the core of the earth and held all the terrestrial knowledge. The first time I sung this song live, it was just me and a cellist, taking our listeners into an ancient forest with a drone and a chant. The second time, it was a small chorus of singers harmonising. Now, it's taken form with the orchestra, bursting with colours and pulsating with different rhythms simultaneously. I can't wait to share the entire piece! Below is the Soundcloud clip, tell your friends, especially my Adige peeps! Upso (thank you), Z
09.08.19, 10:31 Zeina Azouqah
The fifth track on the album is instrumental. It's not just instrumental, it's orchestral-- as in 50 living, breathing musicians interpreting your music as one body. Wow. When I entitled this piece, I was thinking only of the text I had written before starting to compose. "I will hide in a vast, gaping hole Ripped open by freedom I will journey to a tiny point and call Love and Death to meet them" The title ended up carrying more meaning than crossing between the two spaces in the text (the hole to the tiny point)-- it also implied that I was now officially forraying into that strange realm of "crossover". Including orchestral pieces on this album makes total sense now. It wasn't enough anymore to have different cultural influences within the smaller ensemble I had gathered to play the songs, I had to also vary the ensemble itself. So, although the text was originally meant to be sung, it ended up being orchestrated because I believe it needed the dynamic contrasts that that special combination of plucked, hit, blown and bowed instruments in a large reverberating chamber can provide. The pieces all together still do form a cohesive whole, I find. I hope you enjoy your journey with them.
07.08.19, 14:43 Zeina Azouqah
Today I introduce "Yaish", the fourth song on this album. How fitting that these days, my gaze constantly lights upon signs of life fighting to see the light despite the odds. Like the chopped tree in the image I attached, budding with new expressions. Like Toni Morrison, born under systematic discrimination, with the ache of ancestral oppression in her tiny bones, rising up free and living on past death through her language. "Yaish" is about this rising up. Some people live a life burns so brightly that nothing can stop them; despite obstacles, chaos, despite enemies knocking fear and doubt into them, despite crazy odds, they make it through. Challenging death. Their ideas live on. To quote Toni Morrison's Nobel Prize speech, "We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”
04.08.19, 18:09 Zeina Azouqah
Update: as you know, we reached the crowdfunding goal, endless gratitude to all! Until August 26, you can still pre-order the album and I will add two free tracks as a bonus! Introducing track 3, "Mutual Interests". This track is a song that adapted over the years, the more I lived and saw of human interactions. We all fall into grey situations where our moral compass goes a bit crazy and starts waving around and we don't know how to go forward. Some people just charge on to the first source of instant gratification and some people need a couple of beats to weigh a situation before they go forward. I thought both types of people were worth observing and writing a song about. "True loves and phonies...they're all selling stories" Speaking of interactions, what I find most surprising sonically in this track is how, compared to the almost two and a half meter grand piano, the tiny triangle became a very mighty element in its own right!
02.08.19, 13:57 Zeina Azouqah
الأغنية التانية بالألبوم عنوانها "بساط الريح"، وهي أول أغنية بنزلها عالنت بحياتي. قبل ما كتبتها كنت مركزّة على مجال صناعة الأفلام وتأليف الموسيقى التصويرية. كتير أيام كنت أقعد عالمكتب (يعني عالبيانو) وأعزف وأبلش أدندن بصوت خفيف وبشكل عفوي. كنت أرتجل بدون هدف معين، وهيك بلشّت تتكوّن الأغنية، وفعلياً فاجأت حالي لما سألت نفسي "وين بساط الريح (اللي) يحملني ونطير لبعيد؟" لإني كنت أتفادى أي شي إله علاقة بحكايات ألف ليلة وليلة، لإني بأوروبا كتير واجهت مستشرقين أول ما يسمعوا إسمي كانوا يبلشوا يغزلوا حكايات رومانسية عنّي لإنهم أ) بيعرفوش إنه أصل الحكايات فارسي وب) بيحبّوا يا يخلقوا صورة رومانسية يا أما صورة وحشية عن الآخر (الأجنبي) وهذا الشي كان يدايقني لإني كنت أحس حالي اتبروزت زي الرسمة. المهم بلشت الكلمات تجري...بالأول قطرة قطرة وبعدين زي النهر حتى كِملت الأغنية وسجلتها رأساً بالبيت، وبالأخير اقتنعت انه عنوان "بساط الريح" فعلاً جميل وحبيت إني أستولي على البساط عشان أطير لبعيد بعيد عن برواز المستشرق. الأغنية رح يكون إلها توزيع جديد مع آلات وترية وأنا كتير مبسوطة وفخورة بالتسجيل الجديد. Introducing track 2! "Bsaat Irreeh" is the first song of mine I ever uploaded to the internet. Before that, I had been focused on film scoring. One day, I was sitting at my desk, i.e. the piano, and improvising something while humming a tune. I suprised myself when the words starting flowing out, one by one, until this song was born. Why was I asking myself about flying carpets? I had been trying to avoid any references to "A Thousand and One Nights" because, since moving to Europe, people kept romanticising about my name and signature in an orientalist way the put me at unease. It made me feel like I was framed as a painting, unable to tell my story in my own words. It also bothered me because the "1,001 Nights" is actually of Farsi origin, not Arab, and because people always seemed to want to frame a foreigner in a simplistic way by either overly romanticising or worse, demonizing. I guess this way, I claimed the term "Flying Carpet" ("Bsaat Irreeh") for myself in order to overcome that unease and fly out of that picture frame. The song has a new arrangement with strings and percussion and I am very happy and proud of the recording!
31.07.19, 12:58 Zeina Azouqah
--English below-- مرحبا جميعاً.من وقت ما بلشت هذه الحملة بصراحة كل يوم لازم أذكر نفسي إنه هذا واقع جميل وليس حلم! أتشكر كل من ساهم في الحملة وأدع الذي لم يساهم بعد لمشاركتها مع الأصدقاء ومحبي الموسيقى البديلة أو المستقلة. اليوم بدي أقدم لكم أول أغنية رح تكون عالألبوم وهي "خضار" (بالفتحة...مش تقولوا أغنية عن البقدونس ولا الخيار). هاي الأغنية بتعنيلي كتير لأنها مش بس أغنية، هي نوع من العلاج الطبيعي...كنت أداوي نفسي بفترة انعزال بسبب صداع نصفي يدوم أيام دون ولا نفس… لدرجة انني بطلت أعرف اشتغل أو أدرس أو أنام، وبالآخر صفيت حتى مش عم بقدر آكل. جسمنا لما يكون عم بيتألم بيكون عم بحاول يحكيلنا شي، وبدل ما نلهي حالنا بالشغل الزائد أو نخرسه بمسكنات لازم نعرف شو مصدر صرخة الأعصاب التعبانة، بلكي لازم نغير وضعنا الحالي أو نقطع علاقة معينة أو نغير نمط حياتنا أو حتى نمط تفكيرنا. بالأغنية هاي بحب أغني آخر سطر فيها لأني بدرك أني بقدر أتغلب على الألم بس لازم بالبداية أتقبله، وألاحظ منيح ايش إللي عم بيدور بمحيطي. معظم الأغاني عن علاقتنا بحبيب أو بشخص ما...ليش ما يكون في أغاني عن علاقتنا بأنفسنا؟ الأغنية بنفس الوقت موسيقى بديلة وطب بديل. بالنسبة للتسجيل، أول مرة سجلتها بالبيت لحالي مع برمجة الإيقاع والباص جيتار بس عالألبوم رح تكون مع رباعي آلات وترية وإيقاع "عن جد" وكتير متحمسة لتسمعوها المرة الجاي راح أحكي عن أغنية "بساط الريح". ديروا بالكم عحالكم Dear all, since starting this campaign, not a day has gone by when I didn’t feel immense gratitude and had to constantly remind myself that I am not dreaming. Thank you all for your kind support! Please continue to share if you haven’t done so, and tell a friend who you think this might resonate with. I want to introduce my song “Khadhaar” today. It stemmed from a place of physical pain and ongoing isolation as a direct result of that pain. Sometimes our nerves are screaming and we shut them up with extra work, distractions or pain killers, when we should be listening closely. What is happening around us, in our relations, in our environment or even our thought processes, that we should change? For me it had to be a drastic change that I was resisting and as a result, I couldn’t sleep, work, study or eat anymore. I enjoy singing the last line in this song, because I realise that I can defeat the pain, but first I have to start by accepting it. There are so many songs about relationships to lovers or other people, why not have more songs about our relation to ourselves? This song is a type of alternative medicine for me. As for the recording, I had uploaded a demo that tI recorded and programmed at home to Soundcloud, but now it has taken on a new form with strings and percussion. I am very excited for you to hear it. Next time I will write about “Bsaat Irreeh”. Until then, take good care of yourselves! (And share this campaign)
29.07.19, 12:04 Zeina Azouqah
Dear dwellers of the genre-less field "beyond right and wrong", my gratitude wants to scoop up from the huge well of "happy" and generously spread it across each of your faces from ear to ear! Contributing your hard-earned bread to this hard-won project makes me feel like all the planning, the sweat and the battles with self-doubt were not in vain. In the next four weeks, I will be introducing the songs, how they came to be und such. Until then, please keep sharing the project page. The second funding goal is on the horizon! Stay tuned and be well!
27.07.19, 12:35 Zeina Azouqah
I am reaching out to you. ...but I am also reaching in to myself. What is the thing I revell in the most as a musician? It's that timeless moment after I've just finished playing a song with all my being and I'm between two states of mind. There I was, tapping into a deep well of emotion and producing waves of sound and I realise that, there you were, too, engaged in listening, attentive to your own feelings and the subtle physiological changes as you are receiving these waves. Then we are beaming at each other. So wonderful can a human interaction be. There is another kind, though, that I've always wanted to bring to life. That requires more elbow grease and, well, money. That is recording an album of the songs I've been playing live and presenting them for an enjoyable listening experience that you can take along on your daily commute, your train ride across a golden field, your evening walk or into your home chilling with your doggo. With a wonderful team of hoomans, I've finally recorded the songs (and orchestral pieces!!!) and we are mixing and mastering to deliver a high-quality product. (Yes, I said "product" and just stabbed myself a little inside). You can help finance this end phase of the production so that these songs reach you! As a download, as a CD, with an accompanying handmade print, if you please. If you're rich with knowledge, laughter and/or friends but short on cash, SHARE this campaign as a private message to someone you know will dig it, or post it to your social media to support! If you write a little tag as to WHY you are sharing and it helps me know what you think is cool about this project. The more we know about each other, the more we understand, and that is a good thing. Thank you.