Land Of Kush is a large orchestra assembled and directed by composer and musician Sam Shalabi. Ahead of album release Sand Enigma via Constellation on Nov 8th, Land of Kush shared a brand new track “Domyat 1331“.
Sam Shalabi remarks about the track: “Domyat 1331 has 3 resonances – it is for my mom who was fading away into dementia while I was writing this section of Sand Enigma. Domyat is the town in Egypt where she was born on August 13 1931 – 1331 is also an “angel number” – if it keeps cropping up in your life it’s supposed to mean a guardian angel is watching out for you and sending you positive vibes (so say those who know of such matters)… The melody is a kind of paraphrase of a lullaby she used to sing to me when I was I kid and in the piece I tried to convey the arc of what was happening to her towards the end of her life. Also in a weird way this piece makes me think of Egypt right now and “her” (hopefully temporary) dementia...”
Listen to the new track below.
After a five-year hiatus (during which Shalabi took up residence in Cairo), Land Of Kush was asked to play in Toronto at The Aga Khan Museum in March 2018. This request eventually lead to the creation and recording of Sand Enigma, the fourth Land Of Kush album, which will be released on 8 November 2019.
The current version of the ensemble now features two of Shalabi’s closest musical collaborators in Egypt: Nadah El Shazly (vocals) and Maurice Louca (keyboards/electronics), plus Adham (Eddie) Zidan, a producer and musician Shalabi works with regularly in Cairo. The ensemble also picked up new members from North America (including guitarist Vicky Mettler, saxophonist Adam Kinner, santur player Amir Amiri, cellist Mark Molnar, harpist Sarah Pagé, and vocalist Maya Kuroki) along with longtime Kush contributors Jason Sharp, Dave Gossage, Josh Zubot, Pat Conan, and Liz Lima.