The ‘Arabian Nights’ story Night 352 (from the Tales of 1001 Nights) is about the white slave princess Zumurrude. This saga from the renowned collection of stories was reworked specially for the Iraqi composer and qanun player Osama Abdulrasol into a modern parable, which inspired him to compose new music.
The new music contains both his own story and that of Zumurrude. Along with Abdulrasol, Brussels Jazz Orchestra will also immerse itself in the legend, and will bring the story and the Middle-Eastern atmosphere of the 1001 nights back to life, but with some modern window dressing.
Night 352 unites a Western jazz orchestra and an Arabian harp, instrumental and vocal music, the traditional and the contemporary, with in the background an ancient story that remains relevant today.
The story and the music
Nights 345 to 364 of Thousand-and-one-nights are about the blonde slave girl Zumurrude. Imagine if she were to jump from the yellowed pages of the book and live her life again. Writer Hazim Kamaledin (Longlisted for the International Arabic Booker Prize 2015) rewrote the story about night 352 for the composer and qanun player Osama Abdulrasol.
It turned into a modern fairy tale about contemporary slavery, as well as the passion for music and how it can expand someone’s horizons – something that composer Abdulrasol can talk about from experience.
His new compositions bring together tradition, present and future, as well as fiction and non-fiction. His music was arranged for Brussels Jazz Orchestra. The Middle-Eastern fairy tale provides the background, and the music tells the story.
Photo © Johannes De Bruycker