About The Music
Disclaimer: This music cannot be truly defined or explained! It is best understood through listening. I do not claim to be an authoritative source of academic ethnomusicology, but a musician expressing my own interpretation of the music I love. The music I play on my instruments is a hybrid of traditional styles and my own novel improvisations inspired by the recordings of my favorite musicians. Please listen to the masters listed below to hear the real thing:
Pipa - The music of the Chinese Pipa consists of memorized compositions that have been reconstructed from historic writings, passed down through the generations, and recently composed pieces. Many of the tunes for the Chinese Pipa originate from other instruments, vocal music, and ensemble scores that have been adapted to the Pipa. There are two main styles of playing Pipa: Wu 武 (Martial) style which is very agressive and virtuostic with pieces depicting war battles, and Wen 文 (civil) style that has a very soft and subtle sound with themes depticting beautiful nature scenes and poetry.
Tar - Music for the Iranian Tar comes from the traditional repertior of Persian classical music called the Radif - a collection of hundreds of short melodies and rhythms that performers can use as inspiration for their improvisations. Within the Radif there are 7 main melodic forms that musicians can choose from called Dastgah. Each Dastgah has many interconnected pieces of music that can be woven together to create an intricate tapestry of musical forms.
Sitar - Sitar music is a part of the diverse Hindustani music tradition from North India, where the Raga is the unifying entity among the many styles of musical performance. A Raga is a melodic framework that musicians improvise within while following the progression from the slow and medatative introduction to the lightning fast crecendo at the end.
Oud - The Oud is the central instrument of classical Arabic music. While it is also played in Turkey, Iran, and other non-Arab cultures of the Middle East the Oud is best known for its central role in the Arabic tradition. The music of the Oud is based on the Maqam, a collection of tetrachord patterns which can be strung together and modulated between to create a meandering journey through several inter-related yet unique musical themes.