Michel Sajrawy – "Floating City"
Although in the public eye the Holy City of Jerusalem symbolizes the Middle East as a cradle of the three religions, for me it is the Galilean City of Nazareth, which is the epitome of the Middle Eastern existence. Christians, Muslims and Jews live, work and study side by side in a fragile embrace of coexistence, day by day. Jerusalem has been and still is, tragically, a symbol of feud and conflict for way too long, while Nazareth serves as an example of what the Middle East could look like, God willing.
Michel Sajrawy and I share the aura of Nazareth since many years. He was born and raised there and lives in the City, whereas I have been teaching there generation after generation of students in classes, where celebrating Easter, Ramadan and Passover is as natural as breathing air. We both love the hills on which the City is built, the beautiful churches and the sound of the church bells, the colorful markets and busy streets, the minarets and the modern buildings of the ever growing new neighborhoods.
Therefore it is completely natural that Michel, as an Artist, would incorporate the multicultural background of his home City and create a unique amalgam of Middle Eastern influences, which he can now proudly call his very own. This is the fourth album Michel recorded, which features his music, and in retrospect it follows a clearly defined artistic path, which climaxes here. The Jazz-Rock-World Music blend presented herein is a true masterpiece in every respect.
This album is definitely Michel's most mature statement, but also reveals the search of his musical roots. The relation to the ancient tradition of Arabic maqam, combined with the modern electric guitar sound is absolutely stunning. This emphasized by Michel's incredible talent to compose beautiful heart capturing melodies, seemingly simple but in fact quite complex and sophisticated, turns him into an icon of the collaboration between East and West musical ethnicities.
Michel's return to his roots is also symbolized by the use of Middle Eastern instruments: oud, qanun, and darbuka, which were significantly less prominent on his early albums. Also Michel plays the bass parts on this album by himself, rather that using a Jazz / Fusion bass player, like he did on previous albums. The combined effect of these changes results in a more than ever substantial presence of World Music elements, which reveals the true Michel Sajrawy.
This is a document of a journey there and back; an authentic re-discovery of Fusion between seemingly distant traditions, which proves that an Artist has only to return to his roots, to become whole again.
Adam Baruch, March 2016
released June 26, 2017
All music composed by Michel Sajrawy
Michel Sajrawy – Guitar & Bass
Wassim Odeh – Oud (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9)
Suhail Nassar – Qanoun (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9)
Loai Abu Sinni – Keyboards
Sahar Anak – Bass (8)
Wisam Arram – Darbuka (9)
Stas Zilberman – Drums
Speredon Radwan – Vocal (1)
Muhamed Badran – Vocal (9)
This album was recorded between April and August 2015.
Recorded and mixed by Michel Sajrawy at Dasam Studio, Nazareth – Israel.
Mastered by Klaus Scheuermann at 4 Ohm Studio, Berlin – Germany.
Produced by Michel Sajrawy
I would like to thank God, my family and my good friends for standing by my side at times of difficulty.
This album is dedicated to the memory of my sister Rodaina Sajrawy.