The new album from Lebanese composer and oud player, Marcel Khalife, is purely magical. I close my eyes and can feel the desert breeze caressing my sun-scorched face. I cannot help keeping time to every drum beat with my hips and tears fill my eyes from pure love, passion, longing…
IN MY HEADPHONES: MARCEL KHALIFE'S ANDALUSIA OF LOVE via Swirl Nation Blog
I don’t speak Arabic. I know the curse words, but even those I say incorrectly. You don’t need to know Arabic to feel the emotion in the words and rhythms of Khalife’s songs. If you are not into world music, or venturing out of your normal realm of familiar music, this album might not be for you. If you love dreamy melodies and songs that tell a story, this album could be for you. The story, the drama, is in the music, and it is meant to be felt.
Andalusia used to be home to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. For centuries, they lived in peace together. This album conjures that optimism and reminds us it is possible. Although Khalife is Christian, his lyrics come from the late Palestinian-Muslim poet, Mahmoud Darwish.
In melding faith, culture, and language, Khalife also brings together jazz, classical, and traditional Middle Eastern sounds to this album. And true to his message of remembering a time when faiths lived together in harmony, the combination of music genres works together to create something beautiful.
The album feels like an opera, you might want to listen to one song alone, but you know the experience is richer if you listen to the whole album – beginning to end.
My favorite way to experience a culture is through food, but if the food is not readily available, music is the next best thing. Music humanizes, it transcends boundaries, so let the dream begin, and be transported…