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The information about the sources and the particular context of each song is a work in progress. These summaries, variously based on the observations of composers, writers, and/or authoritative interpreters of each song, are provided to assist in the presentation, teaching, and performance of this music. We welcome additional or corrective information to this resource, which may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This song is the inspiration of a Muslim residing in the United States, Samir Badri. Samir recruited the composer, a Jew, to set his words to a tune, after they both were featured at a Peace rally in Arizona before the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan and then Iraq. This song has been well embraced by those who have heard it around the country. It is structured musically to allow for people who have never sung in Arabic to do so, in echo fashion. It was first sung with a rippling banjo accompaniment, then a cappella, then with percussion, and then with a band made up of musicians from Morocco and Saudi Arabia who formed to play for the Tucson Jewish Muslim Peace Walk of 2004.
This song can been shared in different ways: Energetically, meditatively, with audience singing along (as echoes after each phrase), and/or with instrumental breaks allowing for English translation during the piece. It has been sung in 3/4, 12/8, and 4/4 time. Sometimes the composer adds the one word 'tag' "aHlaam" (dreams) only at the end and sometimes the song fades out with it. At other times he uses it as a bridge to return to the verse. When unaccompanied or with only percussion “aHlaam” can become a descant under the melody. It was put there to assure people could sing at least one word in Arabic. A pause can be added before the last line, "let us die in peace.” After the U.S. invaded Iraq, the author suggested that the opening line could be chanted. It says, "Let us live as we live." In other words, don't try and change us.
One of four songs in Singing the Journey from the Taizé
tradition. Originally Taizé was a monastic community of twenty
brothers, but it became a spiritual center for increasing numbers of young
people who used his chants in meditative singing. The simplicity of the songs/chants and
the many repetitions become a means of listening to God. It is considered better for prayer if no
one directs, but it may be necessary to have a small group of singers or
instrumentalists support the singing.
Both keyboard and classical guitar are recommended for
accompaniments. For information
about this tradition, see The Taizé Community. For inforamtion
about the composer, Jacques Berthier, see Vieni Spirito Creatore.
For more information contact email@example.com.
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Last updated on Monday, April 9, 2012.
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