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L'Invitation à l'Errance
"Errer", or "errance" is a favoured theme in the French art and it's mostly handled with an aesthetic image. The title is inspired from "L'Invitation au Voyage" of Baudelaire. I play gallichon with the traditional Arabic rhythm "nawakht" (7/4). Rasgueados (very fast repeat of the chords) is typical technique of flamenco guitar, but the lutenists in 17th century used also similar technique.

Le Vent d'Incertitude
Now I play oud – The queen of the instruments of the Arabic music – In arab-andalusian style. Arabic music consists of a complex ton-system, called "maqam". Maqam uses many microtones, not based on a twelve-tone equal-tempered musical tuning system. E.g. in the maqam "hijaz" I used in this piece, the 2nd note is tuned slightly higher than the western semitone, and 3rd note is tuned slightly lower than the 1 1/2 tone interval.

Passacaille
Here you hear lute – The queen of the instruments of the European music until 17th century. Passacaille was a musical form which used until 18th century. Here I vary a medieval motive in quite modern style.

Notre-Dame Retrouvèe
I play modes (tone-system) from the 11th and 12th century in France with oud. The mode changes after each 2-4 Bars.

Hymne à la Beauté
"…Whether you come from heaven or from hell, who cares,
O Beauty! Huge, fearful, ingenuous monster!..."
(From "Hymne à la Beauté", Charles Baudelaire)
I use the electric guitar not to rock, but to express the ancient rude energy – The harsh nature could be beautiful… I combined elements of heavy-metal and arab-andalusian music through ancient Greek rhetoric. In the second part I often used the techniques of flamenco guitar.
The playing instrument is 7 string xiphos of Ibanez.

Milonga à la Frontière
Milonga is a form of Argentine tango and the dotted rhythm is significant. Milonga is mostly played and danced very feisty. Here I play very slowly like "Milonga del Angel" of Astor Piazzolla, who revolutionized tango music. I tried to express contrast between passion and melancholy, hope and despair, which characterize tango.

La Conteuse
The first part is a taksim (improvisation after the system of the Arabic music). In the second part I play the rhythm called chiftetelli (8/4, it has a ritual character.).

Au Cœur du Riad
Riad is a traditional Maroccan residence. The rooms are placed surrounding to the court and there are also many valuable riads for its arts and crafts. There are also many reconstructed riads in order to accommodate guests. Tasteful court, wonderful traditional crafts and arts in and around the riad and cordial hospitality of the personal – I found many parallels with the traditional ryokans in Japan. This piece was born during my stay in a riad in Marrakech.

Le Dodo
"Dodo" means sleep or cradle in child's language in French. Many lullabies in France begins with "Do Do…". Here I would to portray – A place with absolute concealment. But please consider – You can perceive the absolute concealment only if you've already experienced the opposite…

 

Les Deux Reines

copyright 2012 Erransona Records

Please enjoy the sensual sounds of lute and oud...

 

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Les Deux Reins – The Two Queens

The Oud is a plucked instrument from Orient. The origin of the oud belongs to the ancient times and similar instruments were used by the Sumerian, the Babylonian and ancient Egyptian. Oud was spread widely through the Silk Road and from European lute till Japanese biwa, numerous instruments have oud as their origin. In Arabic culture, oud is played for highly diverse music genre as "king of the instruments". Because of my cultural background I use "queen" for the title of this album instead of "king" for this album.

The Oud has a half-ovoid body and the peg box is angled back from the neck. Oud has mostly three sound holes which are decorated with "roses". The Oud doesn't have frets (like violin or cello) and it enables to play the microtonal intervals. The microtonal intervals are intervals which are smaller than the halftones and significant for the Arabic music. It's possible to play diverse sounds and nuances through the various angles, force and moving of the left fingertips which grip the strings.

The oud found his way to Europe either though the crusaders or through the Al-Andalus. The name "lute" originates from the Arabic word for oud with the article "al'ud" and originally there was no difference between oud and lute. Through the following centuries "oud in Europe" customized to the European music and the end of the 15th century the European "lute" we know was formed.

During the Renaissance the lute was regarded as "king of the instruments" and used for all music genres. In a manuscript in Paris from the end of 17th century we can find a list of the active professional lutenists at the time in this city and there are over 40(!) names registered.

After 18th century, with the change of the music style in Europe , the lute lost its importance and today, many people don't know even the name. It often happens to have to explain that it's not about a Japanese instrument… The most tradition of the instruments which originate from oud survived till this day and they play a vital role in its culture. I think it is very unfortunate this instrument in Europe fell into oblivion.

Gallichon is a follower of the baroque lute and it used between 18th and 19th centuries. A late heritage of gallichon is the guitar-lute which is played during the Wandervogel-movement in early 20th century in Germany . At the end of the 19th century numerous gallichons were converted to guitar-lute – double stringing to single stringing, gut-fret to metal-fret. Most Lutes in the numerous medieval festivals are mostly the guitar-lute from this period.

 

Naochika Sogabe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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