This is the CD that started it, so to speak.

Released on Centaur Records, a contemporary classical label, catalog number CRC2222.

This is a live solo concert from 15 May 1993, and was released in 1994. Except for one glaring bit of weirdness and audience applause, there are no other edits on the album - all is as it went down. 

Interestingly, there are only three cuts on this 73 minute CD, at 19, 16, and 37(!) minutes, respectively.

A Google search will pull it up for purchase from various vendors, but the Amazon listing has samples.

It paved the way for a number of European performances and garnered great reviews.

The CD Six Peaces - a meditative work with both oud and flamenco guitar - was recorded in March 2002 and dealt with themes of love, understanding, healing, responsibility, peace in both the internal and global domains, and above all, love of God. This state of being generated the following accompanying texts to the six tracks.

 

1 FIRST HOME

First Home,

benificent Source,

smiling Sky and beaming Earth,

Joy.

The God-Ocean

of

Love

unfolds the sun:

the Divine shines

down in us.

breathe in that Light,

swim,

bow into that grace, and be happy in it.


FIRST HOME utilizes both the oud and the guitar in a series of exchanged passages and is based on the Arabo-Andalusian zrga mode/maqam, which is not as well known as other maqams but is common in Algeria, Morocco, and other Maghreb countries. It is also common in the music of certain Sufi brotherhoods of that region. This piece particularly was inspired by a muwwal (an improvised form of solo chant with instrumental responses) in this mode from a recording by the Al-Shushtari Brotherhood.

Special thanks to Omar Metioui, musical director of the Al-Shushtari Brotherhood, for the initial inspiration and encouragement to record this mode, and his clarification on its accepted use.

2. DARK DIAMOND

a desolate cry

echoes

cracked and ancient

from this dark diamond,

each surface

etched

with guilt.

polish

this

sad jewel

with cloths of Light:

restoring to mirrors

from Love,

reflecting forgiveness

from each facet.

DARK DIAMOND
begins the series of solo oud pieces, and uses the nawa'athar scalar construct in a slow meditation.

3. DANCE ACROSS THE DIVIDE


divisions only in this realm, not the real one.

becoming an ocean, beginning to understand.

shine out of ourselves,

shine across the divide

reaching

raise out

dance across the divide

dance for your brother

dance for his sister

rejoice in the knowledge,

rest in the rewards

compassion brings.

DANCE ACROSS THE DIVIDE
is a more active rhythmic piece using a free mix of bayyati/husseini scalar constructs.

4. REMEMBER LOVE

Love abandoned across battlefields of stubborness

if we abandon Love we abandon the Divine

radiant distortions

strive to reclaim

the dance that bonds us comes from far ago and long away

remember it,

remembering inward:

One and Eternal,

Unfolding Ocean of

Love's Source,

First Energy,

restoring to cell,

to reclaim.

remembering that,

we can forget all else.

REMEMBER LOVE starts with some abstract textures then explores the kurd scale tones against a C pedal for a minor-key feel, before developing some rhythmic explorations in the same mode with the more common D pedal.

5. LOST CREEK, FORGOTTEN VALLEY



hope weeps

small and silent

like the lost creek in the valley

that no one tends

the olives , parched

the grapes, withered

we suck the wine from life in self-obsession

dry legacy

before time shuts to dust:

let your tears raise the creek to overflow,

kiss one olive to ripeness,

caress one grape to wine.


LOST CREEK, FORGOTTEN VALLEY
uses the less common lami mode as its scalar base, which can best be described in this transposition as the Western locrian mode built on C but developed using both C and F pedals.

6. LAST HOME

those gone, those sacrificed, those we miss,

they are in a place of knowing.

they understand this folly.

in the Last Home all is clear.

we grieve for our loss

they grieve for our stifled humanity

may they forgive us for what we continue to do in their memory.

is it only after death

do we learn

love's lesson?

in this realm, no one left to learn.

open and learn now:

let a tiny corner, a brick, a stone, a speck of dust

from the Last Home

bring radiance and hope to this one.

One and Eternal,

Unfolding Ocean of

Love's Source,

First Energy

is not only for the dead who reach it:

it is for us here, that we may try and breathe it...just a little

(remembering inward).

remember where they are

reflect on what they know

and bring it here-

breathe in that Light,

bow into that grace, and understand the Love in it.

Love

unfolds:

the Divine shines

down in us.

LAST HOME closes the disc with a piece again exchanging guitar and oud. The only piece on the album not derived from maqams, it is instead based on the flamenco alegrias form in its minor key version, with some additional incorporated tones (both natural and flatted sevenths and sixths).

TECH STUFF:

all text and music c p 2002 M.S. Dill all rights reserved

recorded march 2002 Norumba Studios, Clayton, NM

flamenco guitar by Juan Alvarez , Spain (1962)

Bashir oud by Yaroub Mohammed Fadel , Tunisia (2000)

session/edit/mix/tweak/polish: Stefan Dill

Final digital sanctification (mastering): Quincy at Q labs, Albuquerque, NM

al-hamdulillah

"What can we do?"

Sometimes, young people ask me this as they grapple with the global challenges.

I have no answers, only thoughts:

It starts small, it seems to me; simply do your best. Try to activate hearts, one heart at a time, along your path.  Keep your hearts open, stones and guns away, minds clear, and voices strong.

But the future belongs to the young and while  I am in awe of both their challenges, I'm equally awed by their capacity to meet those challenges.

To the future's inheritors, I pledge to help and support you in all of your endeavours and goals, because:

I want your voices to be heard

I want you to be empowered to make a difference, then make that difference

I want teachers who don't squash individuality and creativity

I want you to keep forging a responsive, transparent media

I want you to consider government service and rebuild it with integrity and openness

I want you remembering to become the shining children of God that you already are

I want through art/music/film - or whatever work each of you do - to end social/race/class/school clique divisions

I want a livable planet

I want peace

I want you to relax and enjoy this time of your lives, develop yourselves and each other (if that happens everything else follows)

I want your hearts to be energized so that you can transform with grace and optimism the jaded public legacy you will inherit

I want your kindness to be cultivated and extended to your peers, to your family

I want your anger, isolation, and hatred to be revealed, exorcised and cured

I want my bones to rest in a happier grave tomorrow than they would today

I want to die blinded by the brilliance of your collective love, polished in billions of young strong large hearts

I want you to offer each other your own heart, share and build hope to critical mass, so that hope is created in itself of itself

I want to die softly crushed by the weight of your conviction in that hope