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MP3 Tim Rayborn - The Path Beyond

Virtuoso multi-instrumentalist performs a collection of exquisitely beautiful music from medieval Spain, North Africa, Turkey, Iran, and the Balkans.

15 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Middle East, CLASSICAL: Traditional

The Path Beyond

Music from the Edges of Islamic Civilization

Jewish, Christian, and Islamic music from medieval Spain, North Africa, Turkey, Iran, and the Balkans.

This recording features music and musical styles from several of the regions that historically had contact with the Arabic Islamic world, and often were Muslim themselves, especially in the medieval and Ottoman periods.

The music is decidedly pre-modern. It does not feature modern instruments (with the exception of a few modeled on earlier designs), Western influences, or obvious innovations in style from the twentieth century. Five songs are of historical and traditional origin, while the others are improvisations or compositions that reflect the spirit of that same ancient heritage.

Some of the original pieces were composed or devised prior to the recording, while others were created "on the spot", capturing true improvisations in the moment that they were created. Improvising remains a standard musical practice throughout the Islamic world, and was an important feature of music in medieval Europe.

The album''s title refers to both the "path beyond" the Arabic geographical center of Islamic culture and influence to these other lands, as well as "beyond" in the Sufi sense of leaving the mundane path of everyday life to travel the mystic path. The Sufis have often used music in ceremony, the most famous being the followers of Rumi, the "whirling dervishes", who spin ecstatically to musical accompaniment.

While the pieces on this recording are not necessarily intended to be spiritual in nature, it is nevertheless hoped that they will convey some of the sense of richness and mystic wonder of the cultures that produced or inspired them.

Tim Rayborn is an internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and singer, who has been involved in the field of early music for 15 years. He originally studied harpsichord at Dominican College of San Rafael. He developed an interest in music written prior to the year 1400, and later in traditional music from North Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East, and India. He has devoted much of his musical activities over the past 13 years to the study and performance of these styles, both in America and Europe.

As well as singing, he plays a wide variety of musical instruments, including:
* Various plucked strings (harp, psaltery, Anglo-Saxon lyre, Arabic qanun, Iranian santur, Egyptian simsimiyya, Hebrew kinnor, Greek kithara, Ethiopian krar, Finnish kantele)
* Several types of lute (Arabic ''ud, Turkish saz, Moroccan Berber gimbri, Iranian sehtâr and tar, Uzbek dutar, Afghan robâb, Indian sitar)
* Bowed strings (Egyptian rabābah, Serbian gusle, Afghan ghichak)
* Flutes (Bulgarian dvoyanka and frula, Balkan diple and kaval, Indian bansuri, Turkish sipsi, Indonesian suling, bamboo flute, medieval recorder).

He also plays numerous Middle Eastern and Balkan percussion instruments.

Though raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tim lived in England from 1992 to 1999, pursuing academic research and working as a professional musician. He has toured throughout Europe and performed at several major early music festivals, as well as with traditional musicians in Marrakech and Istanbul. He was also invited to collaborate with classical Persian musicians in Tehran. His performances and recordings have been featured regularly on BBC radio in the UK and the Channel Islands. He has appeared on Belgian Radio 3 in a live concert broadcast, and on Majorcan television.

Tim has recorded three CDs for Britain''s top early music label, ASV/Gaudeamus. His group, Ensemble Florata, produced two of these recordings, including the best-selling Far Away Lands - The Medieval Sephardic Heritage. His third ASV CD was in collaboration with Shira Kammen: The Cloister and the Sparrow hawk - Songs of the Monk of Montaudon, and received international critical acclaim. In addition, he has recorded with the medieval group Tintagel, with whom he toured Europe and America extensively. He has also performed with the award-winning British and Australian medieval ensemble Sinfonye. He is currently an instrumentalist with the Jewish vocal group, Ya Elah, performs as part of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern musical duo Ajal, collaborates with multi-instrumentalist Mark Deutsch, and directs his own medieval ensemble, Caladrius.

Tim has an M.A. in Medieval Studies and a Ph.D. on the subject of Christian/Islamic relations during the period of the early crusades (11th and 12th centuries), both from the University of Leeds, England.

For further information, visit Tim''s web site at:


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