New Internationalist

Makan

January 2010

by Kamilya Jubran

Expressing a world – the peerless Kamilya Jubran.

A makan (or maqam) is a term used to describe the melodic structures of, typically, music from Turkey and the Middle East. Closer to Western modes than scales, each makan expresses a world of its own. That Kamilya Jubran, the peerless Palestinian singer and oud and qanun player now resident in Paris, has used this word for her latest album is significant. Makan makes not only a factual statement – that it is music from the Middle East – but also a more highly charged one. As the lyrics to the title track have it: ‘I have a place that is my own melody/ And that is the reason I wander and sing.’

Formerly a member of Sabreen, the Palestinian music ensemble that was at the forefront of the cultural resistance to the suppression of indigenous voices, for the past few years Kamilya Jubran has developed her individual voice. It’s an impressive one, crisscrossing common connections in jazz, art song, electronica and modern Arabic music. Makan is a consummate work of art, a deeply sophisticated album whose nine songs are all settings of contemporary Arabic poems, four of them written specially for her. (Translations are provided in French and English.)

It’s an elegant album, stripped bare to its poetry. Bass notes on the oud ground the songs wonderfully and Jubran’s voice is sinuous and expressive, full of colour tones.

LG

This column was published in the January 2010 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Comments on Makan

Leave your comment







 

  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Makan Fact File
Product information Pure ZZT090102 CD
Star rating5
Product link http://www.kamilyajubran.com

Get our free fortnightly eNews

Multimedia

Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Music

All Music

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 429

New Internationalist Magazine issue 429
Issue 429

More articles from this issue

  • Stereocanto

    January 1, 2010

    Low whistle, hornpipes, kaval (this is a traditional Balkan flute) and practice chanter (and this a part of the Scots bagpiping set-up) are just a few of the instruments employed by Fraser Fifield on Stereocanto.

  • Brothers in peace

    January 1, 2010

    Israeli Rami Elhanan and Palestinian Bassam Aramin forged an unlikely friendship through a terrible tragedy. They share their story.

  • Too many people?

    January 1, 2010

    Vanessa Baird wonders why the demographers aren’t panicking.

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.

Subscribe