Kronos Quartet Releases Caravan CD

Arab Composer Featured


The Kronos Quartet (David Harrington, violin; John Sherba, violin, Hank Dutt, viola; Jennifer Culp, cello) known for performing Western classical music has taken a world tour with Caravan, their new CD containing works from South America, India, Portugal, and the Middle East, among other places.

Arab-American composer Ali Jihad Racy composed a piece called Ecstasy that was performed by the quartet joined by Racy on the nay and Arab percussionist Souhail Kaspar.  One of the dozen works on the disc, Ecstasy is known to Arab listeners as tarab, reaching a state of joy derived from the music, often linked to Sufi traditions.

Racy wrote beautiful long solo for the cello before he joins in on the rim-blown reed flute called nay, to Kaspar's steady beat on the tar.  A master nay player, Racy makes his audience feel the wind of the east come out of his wind instrument.