Jonas Hellborg: Aram Of The Two Rivers: Live In Syria
Hellborg’s suites rely on polyrhythms and modal harmonic structures to maintain a Middle Eastern mood. Several movements contain dance-like rhythms; some use a duple meter and a few use the waltz-like triple meter. "Aram of Damascus" and "Sham" feature flute and classical guitar sounds at a moderate tempo, while "Akkadia 11" runs up-tempo with a funky electric bass beat. With his versatile bass guitar, Hellborg is able to pluck firmly and deliberately in the manner of a flamenco guitarist, or tap out streams of funk-driven syncopation in the manner of a television or movie soundtrack artist. "Aram of Zoba," up-tempo in a Middle Eastern dance style, introduces Backdonas’ electric violin. Another versatile instrument, the electric violin allows Backdonas to wail in a vocal manner with wah-wah effects at times, and gentle melodies with echo, at other times. Compared to an acoustic model, Backdonas’ instrument seems to maintain all elements of technique while sacrificing some of the expected round, resonant violin timbre. Like a bolero, "Suriya" closes the performance with a percussion riff behind bass guitar and violin melodies. The performances are pleasant and interesting, while drawing upon the ethnic styles found in several cultures.
Track Listing: Aram of Damascus; Sham; Akkadia 11; Aram of Zoba; Salah al Din; Suriya.
Personnel: Jonas Hellborg- bass guitar; Mased Sri al Deen
Record Label: Bardo Records