[This guest blog post comes to us from EarthMoments.]
To journey into the realm of Middle Eastern music is to unveil a tradition that is inextricably linked to religion—a uniting factor that brought together people of several different countries, languages and cultures.
The prevalence of Islam enabled the Arabic influence to spread across areas including Morocco, Iran, Egypt, Turkey and North Africa from the 7th century onward—a cultural influence that also permeated the region’s musical framework. There are various elements that give Arabic music its distinctly otherworldly quality—the music often features quarter tones between notes, the Arabic scale is based on various maqamat or modes, and complex rhythmic patterns play an essential role in the tradition.
In order to connect producers to this region’s exotic spectrum of instruments and rich sonic diversity, EarthMoments has released a bundle that grants them exclusive access to an otherwise elusive musical tradition.
EarthMoments’ Hamsa Vol. 02 – Arabic Percussion showcases several percussion instruments from the Middle East, North Africa, and Arabic musical traditions.
Forming the mainstay of the percussive practice are a variety of hand drums, instruments like the dumbek—a classic goblet-shaped drum traditionally made of ceramic clay and with a deeply resonant sound; the darbuka – also ‘goblet’ shaped, and said to be a modern variation of the dumbek; and the riq—a frame drum with 5 sets of cymbals, usually skinned with goat or fish skin – all of which are included in the bundle.
These traditions are heavily steeped in rhythmic patterns that perhaps at first listen are unusual to the Western-trained ear—complex time signatures that evoke a sense of the mystical realm from which these sounds emerged. In creating the bundle, the EarthMoments team made it a point to go beyond a surface level depiction of the ‘exotic Orient’—and chose instead to showcase both traditional commonly heard rhythms, as well as less conventional, rare folk rhythms that stray far from the mainstream.
Included are rhythms like the Malfuf—a fast pattern that originates in Egypt and Lebanon and is often played as an intro for classical orchestral compositions, specially created for a belly dancer’s entrance and exit;
the Baladi – an urban folk rhythmic style, a derivative of which is the Maqsoum rhythm (the most common rhythm in Arabic belly dance music);
the Shiftateli – a hypnotic rhythm often used for the sensuous movements of the belly dancer such as undulations of the torso, floor work, or when the dancer moves with snake like arms;
and the Karachi – a fast rhythm that originated in Pakistan but is commonly found in modern Egyptian and North African music.
In unlocking this enigmatic world of sound, new doorways open up for the curious producer looking for unusual creative leads – and herein lies great potential to create truly unique, offbeat compositions.
[This guest blog post comes to us from EarthMoments.]
Street style: ecstatic South Indian ceremonial drumming, and raw and primal beats from the gullies of South India. This is a wildly unconventional bundle now made accessible to producers worldwide.
EarthMoments’ collection – Indian Street Drummers – Indian Percussion – showcases the heart and soul of the streets of India with the original, largely undocumented sounds of Tapattam street drummers.
Earth Moments is a team of producers, musicians, and engineers based in Chennai, South India. They offer world-class high-quality sample collections of instruments that you just can’t find from anyone else. We’re proud to partner with them, and equally proud to announce that there are five new Earth Moments sample packs available for Studio One! If you’re getting a little tired of bass, guitar, and drums then you will definitely want to check these out. Check out the descriptions below—and further below, we’ve got a couple videos on the making of the Laya Project, as well as audio demos!
EarthMoments Hamsa – Arabic Percussion: 300+ samples of traditional and nontraditional ethnic and Oriental grooves and beats from various countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Yemen, Israel and Greece. The samples are divided by instrument AND performance style, and includes percussion instruments like the Darbuka, Doholla, and Rick, performed in no less than seven styles.
EarthMoments Laya Project – Producer Collection: An exceptionally high-quality bundle of rare recordings from the award-winning production Laya Project, a journey of music and visual discovery through six countries affected by the 2004 tsunami. Contains authentic and organic folk instruments and vocals, recorded in the remote villages of Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives using warm Neve and SSL preamps.
EarthMoments Oriental Orchestra – Producer Bundle: An unmatched, top-end quality bundle of live strings recordings recorded in world-class studios around the world using warm Neve and SSL preamps and Neumann vintage tube mics. Recorded on metronome clicks, the live strings – without any keyboards or digital inputs—link to the rules of western music, allowing music producers coming from any style or genre to easily use these complex orchestral lines in their music. Oriental Orchestra Bundle contains 3 types of string sections: Quartet, Octet and Ensemble.
EarthMoments Tribal Vocals FX: An amazing pack of tribal vocals FX from the Indian Ocean countries such as: India, Indonesia, Reunion, Madagascar, Mauritius, Balkan and the middle east. This unique package presents a mix of west and east, acoustic and digital, and organic and synthetic—pasted and processed to fit perfectly in electro, tech, dubstep, trap, drum and bass, house, or any production that needs that extra spice.
EarthMoments World String Series – Celtic Harp Bundle: The Celtic Harp, also known as folk harp, is an ancient instrument that dates back over 4000 years. While the Celtic Harp brings to mind the Celtic green isles that have influenced Celtic culture and music through the centuries, the harp developed in many variations in Africa, Europe, North and South America and Asia. Traditionally a popular instrument with medieval bards and troubadours, classical music composers through the ages have been inspired to create music that does true justice to the harp’s spectacular range of sound and tones.
Click below to hear audio demos of these samples:
Check out these videos on the making of the Laya Project: