CP-Quintet-1200x628Divine Art Records’ Metier label is soon releasing an album of instrumental music inspired by the near East titled Jaipur to Cairo (msv28589)

Kevin Bishop: Jaunpuri
Reza Vali: Three Love Songs
Kevin Bishop: Afghan Suite No. 2
Reza Vali: Calligraphies
Sadie Harrison: The Oldest Song in the World
Gilad Cohen: Ten Variations
Mohamed Aly Farag: Rhapsody for piano and strings

The music in the Metier album is performed by five artist-members of the group Cuatro Puntos. The compositions in each of the album’s thirteen tracks comes from a personal creative interaction between Cuatro Puntos’ musicians and composers and  sounds from India, Egypt, Afghanistan, Syria, Armenia and Persia (Iran).

Kevin Bishop, Sadie Harrison, Gilad Cohen, and Mohamed Aly Farag, and Reza Vali are the various composers, and Aaron Packard, violin; Annie Trepanier, violin; Steve Larson, viola; Allan Ballinger, cello; Andrew O’Connor, bass; Charles Huang, oboe, and pianist Mohamed Shams play intermittently throughout the album comfortably embracing a musical language typical of each composer, eliciting all the while fascinating sounds from their  instruments

The oldest known written piece of music, found in Syria and dated to 1400 BCE,  is arranged by Sadie Harrison for two violas with felicitous results, as a perfect  example of respectful reinterpretation that avoids academic reverence.

The playing  throughout is honest to a fault, technically assured, even dazzling at times and it is all done with western instruments played by musicians so sophisticated that one would think they were natives of India, Egypt, Afghanistan, Ancient Syria, Armenia and Iran, trained in music far different from most European trends.

The engineering of Justin Kurtz is flawless, and the accompanying booklet thoroughly informative, delivering another excellent Metier release, a production of Kevin Bishop.

Rafael de Acha