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MP3 Hisham - World of Absence

Exotic Middle Eastern textures meet hi-tech sophistication. Evocative compositions spring to life with full-bodied orchestrations, flamenco guitar, mighty bass lines and fiery Arabic percussion.

14 MP3 Songs in this album (65:28) !
Related styles: NEW AGE: Progressive Alternative, NEW AGE: Progressive Electronic

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The son of a Saudi diplomat father and Syrian mother, Hisham (he shahm) grew up in Venezuela, Denmark, England, and Washington, D.C., where he now lives. "I was raised as an Arab," he says. "It''s in my blood. I didn''t set out to write Arabic music, imitate it or even make a new version of it. At the same time, I wanted my cultural side to come out in the music." That cross-fertilization began when Hisham was a young man growing up in different foreign surroundings, with the only common thread being the pop music played by groups like the Beatles, Elton John, Pink Floyd and Genesis, and the classical music of Mendelssohn, Mozart and Vivaldi. Meanwhile, the native music of the countries where he lived-the gitano-like acoustic music of Spain, the Latin-flavored folklorico sounds of Venezuela, the snake-charming mysticism of Arabia-began to enter Hisham''s consciousness as well.

Self-taught, Hisham, who has been playing music for a little over five years, still can''t read notes but composes instead "from the heart... until something clicks or feels right." He was singer/songwriter for a progressive jazz fusion-styled band in the D.C. area called In Progress, only to find he preferred the instrumental passages between the lyrics. "I felt I could touch people more that way," said Hisham.

In 1989, Hisham composed a piece called "After the Storm" as the soundtrack for a video capturing the destruction wrought in Nicaragua by Hurricane Joan. "After the Storm" became the centerpiece for a benefit concert held at New York''s Beacon Theater, and it was at this show that Hisham shared the stage with such artists as Herbie Hancock, Ruben Blades, Kris Kristofferson and Richie Havens. The track, "Sarajevo," from Somewhere in a Dream, is similarly dedicated to the children of Bosnia-Herzegovina and was the inspiration for a major benefit concert held October 14, 1993, at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Hisham shared the stage with such artists as Kitaro, Yanni, Kenny Loggins, Roberta Flack, Ambrosia, Jon Anderson, Dave Mason and Alan Parsons.

"I am hoping people will be touched by my music," he continues. "That''s my goal. And it doesn''t really matter how they''re touched. The message is just to be happy and live your life. I don''t write to cure, but if my music does manage to have a healing effect on people, I would be very pleased."

The soaring, atmospheric melodies that grace Somewhere in a Dream come from a variety of the influences he picked up while living all over the world-a seamless blend of western pop, progressive jazz fusion, Anglo art-rock, Latin folk music and even classical. But the principle origin of Hisham''s sprawling aural landscapes can be found in the swirling, Arabian musical roots which are interwoven like a Persian rug throughout.

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