| Australian/Middle-Eastern intercultural collaboration between superb performers, diving deeply into Masha's melting pot full of exotic flavours and regional specialties.
1. Masha's Theme is an instrumental composition in mixed time signatures that introduces the Masha's Legacy instrumental cast. Deep research has indicated that Eastern Europe is where the best chickpeas are grown, so by musically mixing these ingredients in a Middle-Eastern kitchen, the demonstrable truth is that "Everybody Loves Hommous".
2. Las Estreyas (the stars) is a traditional Ladino song, with vocal performed here by Miriam Waks with instrumental solos from Nick Southcott and Stuart Vandegraaff. Ladino was the language spoken by the Jews of Spain, it's now kept alive through the cultural musical efforts of just a few artists internationally. The presentation here is in Bolero-Son style evoking the spirit of old school Cuban son masters. A truly pan global presentatio, the culmination of hundreds of years of musical evolution: new school made of old-school constituent parts!
3. Dynamic Tension, written in 3 parts is a dance feature composition representing points of cultural intersection. The opening 'oud solo over sheftatelli rhythm is followed by a second statement from the Q'noon, with a third voice added later by the soprano saxophone. Three statements from three backgrounds that later trade ideas and agree to coexist in a mutually beneficial state of Dynamic Tension.
4. In the Mountain's Shadow. True and enduring love has an unpredictable undulation on its course that can lift one up or bring one down depending on the phase of the cycle: the invested intensity of emotion often leads to the extremes. The comfort when on the lower ebb of the cycle is that the Mountain is still there, unmovable and eternal, even when your are in the cold of its Shadow.
5. Bunny's Tangelos is a joyful tribute to good friends and the honesty of living in a peaceful state of abundance close to nature. Written near Coffs Harbour in May 2015, Bunny's tangelos for breakfast had become part of my daily ritual of stretching, practice, composition, simple healthy eating and afternoon adventures.
6. Shir LaShalom is an iconic Hebrew anthem for peace, changed into maqam Kurd (Phrygian mode) arranged here in a style inspired by the orchestrations of the great Egyptian composers such as Mohammed 'Abd al-Wahab. Performed here in Hebrew by Miriam Waks, the song's power and message is universal.
7. Safe Haven was written in response to the growing international problem of the displacement of good people due to political upheaval, conflict, social and ethnic marginalisation. The composition is in 3 sections representing home, the journey and arrival at the refuge. The opening is a statement of the opening theme in an urgent and compelling 14/8 time signature in maqam Bayati. This leads to the unaccompanied piano solo representing a sudden departure and voyage in a leaky boat across the sea, full of fear, hope and aspiration. The final section is in the Andalusian rhythm Buleria taken from Flamenco but with Arabic origin, representing arrival at the destination: safety for a while, hopeful for a new future. But the final sting returns to maqam Bayati, modulated now to a different key. Forced return to a home situation that has radically changed and now no longer looks like home.
8. Yalla Tnam Rima is a lullaby mothers sing their babies to sleep all over the Arabic world. The vocal here is tenderly sung in maqam Bayati by Ghada Daher-Elmowy. Simple, austere and heartfelt.
9. The Traveller's Companion is our final dance feature in three sections. The first section is written in the universal dance rhythm 3:3:2, which leads to a traditional sounding section and Q'noon solo in Baladi rhythm. This is followed by a zar drum solo and recapitualtion of the opening theme. Let's dance!
10. Taqasim Hijaz - Mahammd Lelo - Q'noon (Bonus Track).