I consider myself a person whose identity is split by the
root. Having an Israeli identity first, and a Moroccan identity
second led me to search my roots through my field of interest
–– music. Moroccan music was never recognized
in the Israeli society as a significant component of its culture.
Living and growing in a Moroccan family but part of the Israeli
society, with all of its obligations, made me neglect the
Moroccan part of my identity.
Moreover, it is important to understand that the Israeli
culture and especially its music, is mostly influenced by
the Western culture. As an Israeli, learning and developing
among the Israeli society, I naturally have adapted to the
basic Western culture values. Although, I grew up in a traditional
Moroccan family, especially in the music aspect, during most
of my academic years I have studied Western music on a Western
instruments –– the piano, guitar, and voice. In
my last two years at college I have decided to devote myself
to the search of my own musical and cultural identity and
to explore the subject of Hebrew music in Morocco, and how
it contributed to the cultural heritage of Jewish communities
in their countries of origin and in their adapting countries.
I intend to incorporate the abovementioned cultural tensions
into my composition.
The program is titled Mediterranean
Collage, for piano, bass, violin, Oud (Arabic lute), nay (Arabic
flute) darbuka (Hand drum) and tambourine, with a total duration
of forty five minutes. It also features a dancer in one of the
Its structure is very similar
to the Arab Nueba (Arab suite), or like the French dance–suite.
It is a collage of few pieces that work together as a whole,
and at the same time as individuals little pieces.
The work incorporates Western and Middle–Eastern musical
characteristics. The Western characteristics are: the instruments,
forms, and harmony. The Middle–Eastern characteristics
are: the instruments, genres, maqamat (Arab scales), modes,
and melodies. Typical to Middle–Eastern music, the Oud,
darbuka, and tambourine performance will be improvizatory,
within the parameters of some harmonic and rhythmic structure.
As for my Western music composition mentors, I worked with
Professor Shafer Mahony, and Paul Moravec. My Middle Eastern
music composition mentor was Mr. Simon Shaheen, a renowned
composer and teacher of Near Eastern music at Manhattan School
of Music, and internationally known virtuoso of both the Oud
and the violin.
This program was first performed
at the Lang recital hall in Hunter College on December 3rd,
1998, as part of the requirements for the completion of Master
degree in music composition.