London-born, New York-based world-fusion songwriter and composer Geoffrey Armes announced the release of his sixth solo CD, a suite of music inspired by the life and death of Noor Inayat Khan (1914-44). Noor, an accomplished musician and writer in her own right, was the daughter of well-known Sufi commentator and musician Hazrat Inyat Khan, and led an eventful, if short life, that ended in Dachau, September 1944.
Geoffrey says, Discovering the life--and death--of Noor Inayat Khan, especially in the context of her father's writing and work was something of a call to action. Here was a woman in possession of 'spiritual' content or inner reality, who had grown up in a tradition of beautiful words and music, who voluntarily thrust herself into the middle of Europe's coarsest mayhem of the 20th Century. Did she know what she was in for?" and adds What does a composer/poet/musician do with this response--he puts it into sound and lyrics."
Writer Todd Evans notes Noor reveals itself to be rather like a hybrid Arabic, Indian, West-African world music nod to prog--an avant-garde progressive world music, if you like labels. These are longer length songs (five of the seven songs range from 7-11 minutes) often parsed together using movements, which helps Armes to flesh out these musical vignettes. They are primarily driven by keyboards that shift through jazz inflected electric piano vamps, textured synth washes, and a wide variety of dialed-up sounds such as xylophone and Egyptian oboe with tempered microtones. Modal acoustic guitar riffing skirts the periphery but jumps to the forefront in the right spaces, and is underpinned by a melodically insistent bass joined by what has become by now, Armes' hallmark admixture of strongworld percussion this time featuring talking drums, dumbek, ubang and udu. He spotlights each song's lyrical content with provocative running commentary in an impressive eight page CD booklet, and then brings the poetry to life through his signature vocal style, marked by a yearning emotional intensity and intonation ornaments that evoke early David Sylvian."
Noor is available as a conventional CD via www.GeoffreyArmes.com and CDbaby, and via downloads at www.omstream.com and itunes.
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