The form of this tune is influenced by Django Reinhardt’s composition Rhythm Futur, which was always in the back of my head when I composed this tune. The song was recorded by my band, Swing De Gitanes, on its debut album – Muza.
This tune started out as another experiment in combining my Middle Eastern musical influences with Gypsy Swing. It starts with the harmony of Django Reinhardt’s famous Minor Swing, in 5/4 tiime instead of 4/4, with a long melody that reminded me of a convoy of camels in the desert. From there, I let my imagination take flight. I composed this tune under a coconut tree in Thailand during my honeymoon. Me and my band, Swing De Gitane, decided to record it again on our third album – The Middle East Gypsy Jazz Project – because we were inspired to improve on the way we played it on our debut album – Muza.
This song is based on a Moldavian ornament that I learned from my neighbor, Emil Kroytor, who is an amazing accordion player from Moldova. I have found out that technique-wise, there is a close connection between Middle Eastern and Balkan ornaments. I play with this connection in this tune.
The chromatic ornaments reminded me of the sound of the mosquito that doesn’t let you sleep at night.
The song was recorded on the third album of my band, Swing De Gitanes – The Middle East Gypsy Jazz Project.
There is one thing I did even before playing Django’s music – writing and composing songs. The second album I made with my band, Swing De Gitanes, was a joint album with Miki Gavrielov – one of Israel’s leading singers and songwriters for the past 50 years. It was an amazing experience and it was the first time I dared to record one of my own songs. I gave it to Miki, he liked it and we recorded it! It whetted my appetite to create more songs like this, but with all my activities, I’m afraid it’ll take me a while to get around to it…
Leaving the City
This is the third song of my own that I recorded and the first on which I sing! I do not consider myself a singer. Not at all! But I couldn’t find anyone else to sing it the way I wanted… The process of creating this video clip was long, but it was a lot of fun. It was a great experience to let my imagination fly and make it happen! Thank you, dear Tom Kless! Tom is my nephew and an animation director, and I could never have done it without him.
The Whole Picture
This song is based on a philosophic thought I had – “Life is like a picture and time is like the wind that blows away the sand that covers the picture.” So, it turns out that we always see only part of the picture and we don’t really know what is going on. Yaakov Avital – the singer, is the father of a good friend of mine. I love the way he sings, even though he is not a professional. He was able to express the words as I see them and that was very important for me. Thanks, Yaakov!