Norwegian Oud chosen as “Top Of The World” album for the Songlines #171 edition, Sep. 3rd 2021
Norwegian Oud is an attribute of Yinon Muallem and pianist Eyal Lovett to the famous Beatles song “Norwegian Wood”, and it is a part of Yinon Muallem’s new album. Yinon and his quartet started to recording it during March 2020, just a few weeks after the Covid pandemic began to spread in Europe (including Turkey). This versatile ethnic, jazz and world music work album is based on Yinon Muallem's quartet but it features also guest musicians from different parts of the globe.
In this new work, similarly to his latest album “Back Home”, which won various awards and is highly regarded internationally, Muallem strives to combine the “Maqam” music of the Mediterranean with sounds and harmonies of jazz.
After having been immersed in the Middle Eastern musical forms, `maqam` music of the Ottoman times and the traditional Jewish music of his own roots, Yinon Muallem is now setting a new destination in his musical journey by combining his broad musical spread with jazz, creating an ethno-jazz project called "Back Home".
"Back Home" is the initial project of Yinon Muallem's quintet, in which Muallem tries to remain optimistic in an unpromising geography, the Middle East, and continues to follow the dim light for peace. With his ability to tell stories through his music, he shares an array of feelings - warmth, strength, sadness and frustration. "Back Home" is also a cover of Lou Reed's well-known `Perfect Day`, whom Yinon admired in his youth.
"Meeting of Hearts" was awarded as "Top of the World" by Songlines Magazine, describing it as one of the ten best albums of the August/September 2021 issue. As a “Top of the World” album, a track from the album will be included in the CD cover mount.
"Meeting of Hearts" is a beautiful album, promoting cross-religious and inter-cultural understanding. It’s well worth a listen for anyone interested in music from the region and, indeed, anyone wishing to hear what happens when you break down barriers.” −Tom Newell, Songlines Magazine.
The influence of Sufi thought on poets of the Spanish tradition and the deep marks it left on Jewish cultural history, inspired Yinon Muallem to create “Meeting of Hearts”. The album takes us to a deep, historical and spiritual journey of Sufism, from the “Golden Era” in southern Spain to the land of great Sufi poet Yunus Emre in Anatolia. In this journey, the forgotten words, going back to the 8th century, are revealed, and the sound of Sufism is reinvented through Yinon Muallem’s compositions, with shimmering and mystical melodies.
"Meeting of hearts" profoundly displays the unities shared by Muslim and Jewish mystics on life and man’s relationship with God, with the aim of bringing the message of peace and tolerance through a strong sensual and spiritual experience.
With "Meeting of Hearts", Muallem continues his musical journey, searching for a place where music can freely exist, crossing the geographical, ethnic, cultural, and religious boundaries.