About Jon Silpayamanant’s Near Eastern Music Research

Performing with Transito, a Louisville based Ladino music ensemble.

Performing with Transito, a Louisville based Ladino music ensemble.

This is a subsite of my Research website and will be dedicated solely to music of the Arabic, Ottoman, Byzantine, and Persian Empire and regions associated with those empires. I’ve been building databases and compiling lists for various parts of the music theory, repertoire, styles for years now and will now start migrating all that info to this site. I’ve also been blogging fairly regularly about my thoughts and reflections about music from this region for years at my main blog, Mae Mai, and have populated this site with reblogs/crossposted entries to this site.

Over the past twenty years I’ve had the pleasure of playing music from this part of the world as a soloist and with various music ensembles. In well over a thousand performances of Near Eastern music, some of the groups and ensembles I’ve had the pleasure of working with are:

  • Ahel El Nagam – Southern Indiana based Classical Arabic Ensemble
  • Ahiska Turks Community Center band – Louisville based group playing music of the Ahiska Turk region
  • Bootleg String Ensemble – Greencastle, IN based alt chamber ensemble
  • Eastern Caravan Group – Bloomington based ensemble playing music from Turkey, Central Asia, and Russia
  • Floyd County Youth Symphony – Southern Indiana based youth music organization
  • il Troubadore – Indianapolis based world music ensemble
  • Kermes – Bloomington based ensemble playing music from the Balkans and Turkey
  • Mayan Ruins – Cincinnati based Middle Eastern Fusion band
  • Meg an’ Jon – Louisville based duo with Megan McIntosh
  • Raqs Maqom – Louisville based dance/music group performing music from Asia Minor and Central Asia
  • Secondhand – Indianapolis based duo playing music from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East
  • Snakes Rising – Cincinnati based Middle Eastern Fusion band
  • Sulh – Southern Indiana based ensemble playing music from the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Silk Road
  • Teatro Tercera Llamada – Louisville based Spanish language theater troupe
  • Transito – Louisville based Ladino group playing music of the Sephardic Jews and Israeli songs
Drumming with the musicians at the opening ceremony of the Ahiska Turks Community Center of Kentucky.

Drumming with the musicians at the opening ceremony of the Ahiska Turks Community Center of Kentucky.

I’ve also had the wonderful opportunity to perform, share bills, or study with artists that perform music from these regions: George Wakim, Dena El Saffar, Salaam, Donna Barbrick Carlton, Hussam Al Aydi, Raquy Danziger, Amel Tafsout, Mousa Alradwan Jr, Jeremiah M. Soto, Karim Nagi, Carmine Guida, Victor Santoros, Nevik, August Hoerr, Steve Popernack, Jennifer Laemmer, Mark Cheater, Andy Smith, Adam Riviere, and many others.

The dancers I’ve collaborated with over the years and the other bands playing music from these regions I’ve shared bills with would take a whole dissertation to list as they are legion. But each and every artist, dancer, musician, educator, and scholar I’ve worked with during my journey of learning music of the greater Near East have each contributed to my understanding and appreciation of the music, dance, and culture from the rich and wonderful cultures from this part of the world.

Near Eastern Music Arrangements, Workshops, and Presentations

A list of Near Eastern Music I've arranged for various groups and student performers over the years.
  • 2018 December 9 - Khosrovidukht Goghtnatsi -“Zarmanali ē inj” (for Sulh)
  • 2018 December 1 - Koharik Gazarossian - Theme from “Variations on a Theme by Komitas" (for Sulh)
  • 2018 December 16 - Bijan Mortazavi - "Renge Ordoo" (for Sulh) updated version
  • 2018 September 8 - De'Lilo - Turkish traditional line dance (for Memdjam)
  • 2018 September 8 - Men Gulem - Azeri traditional line dance (for Memdjam)
  • 2018 September 8 - Turkish Haley music from Elazig (for Memdjam)
  • 2018 August 16 - Shashkin (for Memdjam)
  • 2018 July 8 - Koharik Gazarossian - Var. 1 Lent et soutenu from  “Variations on a Theme by Komitas" (for Sulh)
  • 2018 July 8 - Cheb Khaled - "Wahrane, Wahrane" (for Sulh)
  • 2018 June 3 - Hadouni, Hadouni (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 December 30 - Lama Bada Yatathana (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 December 30 - Mevlana (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 December 27 - Esmerim Biçim Biçim (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 December 15 - Rumeli Karşılamasi (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 September 21 - Gole Sangam (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 September 21 - Norits Karound Yegav (for Sulh)
  • 2017 September 19 - Karoun Karoun (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 September 19 - Fog El Nakkhal (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 September 3 - Rompi Rompi (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 September 3 - Shashkin (for Sulh)
  • 2017 August 3 - Mohamed Abdul Wahab - "Aziza" Updated version (for Sulh)
  • 2017 August 1 - Moshe Dor - "Erev Shel Shoshamin" (for Medjam)
  • 2017 July 23 - Fire Dance (for Medjam)
  • 2017 July 23 - Brian Keane - "Istanbul' dan Görüntüler" (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 July 22 - Zeki Muren - "Bir Demet Yasemin" (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 July 22 - Omar Khairat - "Nihavent Orientale" (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 July 13 - Mohammed Abdul Wahab - "Leilet Hob" (for Sulh)
  • 2017 July 13 - Mohammed Abdul Wahab - "Tamr Henna" (for Sulh)
  • 2017 July 3 - Ah Ya Zein (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 July 3 - Uskadara (for Memdjam)
  • 2017 July 2 - Misirlou (for Sulh)
  • 2017 June 30 - Mohammed Abdul Wahab - "Aziza" (for Sulh)
Over the years I've given a number of workshops and presentations in various aspects of Middle Eastern and Near Eastern Music throughout the Midwest at Universities, Festivals, and Bellydance events.
  • 2018 Mar 3 - Bellydance and Live Music Workshop (Romana Bereneth) - Schoolhouse Raqs - Noble Township Hall, St. Mary's, OH
  • 2017 Jul 15 - Dancing to Live Music Workshop (Leila Gamal) - Ambient Movements - Infinity Dance Fitness Academy, Clarksville, TN
  • 2016 Mar 12 - Alf Leila Wa Leila Coaching - DePauw University School of Music, Greencastle, IN
  • 2016 Mar 5 - Arabic Music Workshop - DePauw University School of Music, Greencastle, IN
  • 2015 Mar 15 - Alt Cello Techniques Workshop: Turkish Taksim on the Cello - DePauw University School of Music, Greencastle, IN
  • 2013 Apr-May - Sectional Coachings "Ahlan Sabaya Alfarah--Arabic Dance" - Floyd County Youth Symphony, Floyd County, IN
  • 2013 Mar 10 - Dark Taqsim (Celeste) - Angels and Absinthe - Amore Dance Studio, St. Louis, MO
  • 2012 July 12 - Strings in World Music - IUS Summer Strings Music Camp. New Albany, IN
  • 2012 Jun 24 - Dark Taqsim (Celeste) - Tribal Revolution Bellydance and Music Festival, Chicago, Il
  • 2012 Jun 23 - Melodic Improvisation - Tribal Revolution Bellydance and Music Festival, Chicago, Il
  • 2012 Jun 22 - Expanding your Drum Repertoire - Tribal Revolution Bellydance and Music Festival, Chicago, Il
  • 2012 May 9 - Music of Asia and the Middle East Presentation - Scribner Middle School, New Albany, IN
  • 2012 Mar 14 - World Music and Xeno Music - Indiana University Southeast, New Albany, IN
  • 2011 Jul 21 – Gig options outside of the box - IUS Summer String Program, New Albany, IN
  • 2011 Feb 2 – The Cello and Non-Western Music Styles - IUS Performance Class, New Albany, IN
  • 2010 Dec 11 - Rhythms with the Drummer (Faten Munger) - Garfield Parks Art Center, Indianapolis, IN
  • 2007 Nov 8 - Beginning Middle Eastern Music Workshop - DePauw University, Greencastle, IN

 

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