Tuning into Arabic music: electronic-vocal duo Rust and Hany Manja (with Bitwig Studio obtain)

    Tuning into Arabic music: electronic-vocal duo Rust and Hany Manja (with Bitwig Studio obtain)

    Making devices work in tune with musicians and singers means making them work with greater than 12-tone equal temperament alone. So it’s nice to see this profile of Hany Manja and his duo Rust with Petra Hawi. Plus Bitwig Studio customers can get your fingers (and ears) into the motion – with a Micropitch obtain.

    Bitwig Artists: Hany Manja

    The duo Rust is deserving of extra consideration. Syrian-born Hany Manja is already a expertise value noting – co-founder of the Beirut Synth Middle, which in flip owes some concepts to the neighborhood spirit of the Synth Library in Prague. I wrote about that mission in depth already:

    Beirut Synthesizer Middle is a house for Lebanon’s artists, even when electrical energy is scarce

    And it’s value watching our dialog at Superbooth:

    Beirut Synthesizer Middle at Superbooth, on sharing and music in occasions of disaster

    Add to that Petra Hawi, who’s only a drop-your-jaw-on-the-floor terrific singer. It’s truly laborious to utterly seize that in movies; it’s nice to be in the identical room, stay. Petra simply has all this energy in her voice, which as a semi-struggling singer I can let you know is vital to having the ability to help intonation.

    I used to be going to say essentially it’s important for digital devices to play in tune, however that’s not fully appropriate. I’ve been round Indonesian composers (each in Indonesia and within the US) who cherished mixing tonalities, for example. However that proves the purpose, actually: it needs to be the composer’s choice, not a restriction of the know-how.

    It’s apparent for Arabic musicians to need their digital palette to have the ability to tune to maqams the identical approach an amazing singer or instrumentalist can. And the truth that some programmer with a rudimentary grasp of even western tuning thinks 12 equal-tempered tones is “sufficient” and every part is “microtonal” isn’t actually an excuse.

    Claire Marie Lim talked about simply this concern in her interview on vocal instructing – in her case, an Egyptian singer-producer had the identical concern with results and vocoder instruments.


    I can play microtones on the oud — I might say quartertones [the notes between semitones in a Western chromatic scale]. What could be very particular about Arabic scales are the intervals between notes (they’re referred to as quarter notes or three-quarter notes) – for instance in C main scale the E word could be diminished roughly, however not precisely, 50 cent not an entire semi word. There are some potentialities, particularly utilizing Bitwig, to play these notes, however it’s totally different when your ears are used to the actual, pure intervals of an acoustic instrument. Whenever you remodel [those microtonal melodies] into an digital half, it will probably sound bizarre typically — to my ears, at the least. Perhaps to somebody who’s used to the Western scales, it would sound unique, however it wouldn’t be genuine for me. I take advantage of the Micropitch machine and I like it. It’s correct and really simple to make use of and with some modulations on some notes it provides the instrument a pure really feel, which could be very basic for taking part in Arabic scales which might be normally carried out on acoustic devices.

    Hany is nice within the interview, – not solely in speaking about why that is essential, but in addition his private journey by way of the music. And actually respect one thing with the subtlety of maqams means doing an entire lot of examine, wherever you’ll have grown up.

    That concern of examine could possibly be the place all of us take music know-how: not solely to search for the most recent, shiny factor however to develop our personal minds and ears. It’s actually a pleasure to get to do this.

    These are two good presets to start – Bayati and Rast, two of the extra incessantly encountered maqams. (Everybody loves Rast!)

    Tuning into Arabic music: electronic-vocal duo Rust and Hany Manja (with Bitwig Studio obtain)
    Rast me, habibi!

    Obtain: https://downloads.bitwig.com/Externalpercent20Presets/Hanypercent20Manja_Micropitch_Presets.zip

    There’s additionally some overlap between maqam Bayati and an equal Turkish mode (amongst others), and Rast and the Persian dastgah of the identical title. You’ll usually discover connections between the maqams and musics throughout the area, together with in Jewish and jap Christian musics – which I level out simply to totally discredit the notion that tuning like that is some type of unique area of interest rarity. It’s actually 12-tone equal temperament that’s the sting case; it solely barely suits western live performance music and was uncommon in that context earlier than effectively into the nineteenth century. However I digress.

    Similar to any intonation, that is one thing you follow and develop into and savor. It’s nice to have these presets as a instrument, however tuning can also be not a preset – which is why engaged on it’s so rewarding.

    And, in fact, everybody ought to take heed to Asmahan and Umm Kulthum as a result of … who isn’t going to like that?

    It’s nice to absorb the stay performances of Umm Kulthoum’s songs – right here you even get subtitles – due to the waves of viewers appreciation that crash over moments within the songs. It’s laborious to not be instantly moved by these songs, however hear you get a sense for the way the viewers hears them.

    Umm Kulthum ( أم كلثوم ) stay; “Enta Omri” (English subtitles)

    And bunch extra the place that got here from:

    Plus go examine Rust, too!