The Crest of a Wave. The title came to me when I decided to record this album; at the time things really did feel like they were peaking. We had some problems with the recording, we lost a song, and things went on hold as we had to wait for Stephen to fly over from Spain. During that time my father was diagnosed with lung cancer, stage four.
It gave me an opportunity to write him a song, record it, and fly over to Houston and play at the lobby of the hotel associated with the cancer hospital. Since then he passed away. It seems that the wave has crashed. A lot of good has passed too. I look around and I see a smile in the distance. Here comes another wave and we sway with the sea...
This is a call to my love across seas, mountains, tall buildings, and all types of weather - mainly through phone and texts (a bow to technology for being a medium of synchronicity - such as, on so many occasions, receiving a text at the same second I'm sending one).
Title means "Oh so pretty"; for you the listener to dedicate to whatever/whoever fancies your eye - from the cucaracha that has lost two legs and now has a heavier funkier edge to its walk, to your grandmother's doting eyes as you (still) smear your face when you eat ice-cream, to being humbled by the innocence of naturalness as you unintentionally catch a passing glimpse in the mirror
Dreaming while awake
In a world where "News" can turn your stomach inside out on a daily basis and compel you to look away, this songs calls to dream, actively, with intention of realising a dream, of a better world.
This song is dedicated to a little plant (see fuzzy picture), one of many, that managed to break through the concrete and show its head to the sky - for plants, close, distant, and unknown friends.
This was written and played for my father when he was diagnosed and treated for lung cancer. He has since passed away. His name is Oussama Moukaddem. If you feel inclined, please send a wish or a prayer his way.
"Younani" means a Greek guy in Lebanese. Specifically, this song is for my friend Yannis Lykos (identity revealed should you wish to track him down and stalk him with aubergines). Initially this song had a different title - ask a Greek how they say "General Medicine", and then repeat the same words to a Lebanese.
The distance between us
I'm not sure how one can write a tune about the difference between how one experiences themselves and how they are perceived by others, but, there you have it, this is what I ended up coming up with when reflecting on this. Incidently, there's a few places on this take where Brendan and I unintentionally deviated from the written score. Although there's a more perfect take, I opted for this one as it is truer to the tune's title.
Karim vs. The Fake Beards
This is based on an actual incident that occurred sometime in 1984 where my brother, on his way back from horse riding with a female friend, was kidnapped for a couple of hours by 4 armed militia men belonging to a certain religious group. They attempted to preach the sins of going horse riding with a female, however, he was well versed in the book they claimed to follow, and, to their surprise, was able to argue with them. Two days after his release, it transpired that these men have been sent by the jealous neighbour of my brother's friend. The specific religion of the group is irrelevant as this story generalizes throughout the world to those who deviate from the essence of the causes they seek to follow. The tune is in four movements: 1) Danger approaching, 2) Interrogation, 3) Release, 4) Manic Jubilation.
March of the Lemmings
Lemmings that march off the cliff - I have yet to hear of accounts of Lemmings spontaneously growing wings as they jump and fly away to realize their dreams, however, proof or no proof, this is dedicated to realizing dreams against all odds.
Bringing on the day
Inspired by Gilad Atzmon who I've seen and heard, through music and words, speak of the injustices committed against the Palestinian and Iraqi people. The title searches for the means that would bring on the day where humane conditions would prevail. Since the recording of this piece, Lebanon's prime minister has been assassinated, bringing the country I grew up in, and the Arab region, into further instability
Album recorded: September 29 & 30, 2004, and January 24th, 2005.
All compositions, arrangements, and production, by Sami Moukaddem.