The musicians of mawwal play rababa, a double-stringed spike fiddle made from half of a coconut shell covered with fish skin and a bow strung with horse hair; the kawala, an end-blown
, oblique flute with six holes; and the arghoul, an ancient double clarinet characterized by two pipes of unequal length.
Connecting instrument-building, ethnomusicology, and Japanese studies, this book looks at the history and techniques of the shakuhachi, here considered broadly as an end-blown
Although not specifically mentioned, these instruments include end-blown
or rim-blown flute, notched flute, and side-blown flute.
The strings are overlaid with the soft, piping tones of Rajoub's saxophones, reigned in to a woody whisper reminiscent of a Turkish ney (an end-blown
wooden flute), and bolder, brassier pieces in which the two instruments tangle and collaborate, call and respond, over Yassine's wild percussion.
In fact, the piece "Llef" - which we were told translates as "A Cry from Heaven" - was originally written for cello and shakuhachi, a Japanese end-blown
bamboo flute, the latter instrument having been studied by Tann for six years.
Bassam Saba pops up again too, playing both the oud and the nay, an end-blown
flute with a pleasantly nasal timbre.
Along with the pipa, the Silk Road Ensemble's current tour features two other Chinese instruments, the sanxian (a long-necked lute) and sheng (a mouth organ), and three from Persia, the santur (a hammer dulcimer), ney (an end-blown
flute) and kamancheh (a spike fiddle).
Araki also plays pennywhistles, low whistles and shakuhachi, an end-blown
John Egan battles to be heard above the seething (but always highly controlled) chaos, switching from conventional flute to what looks like an end-blown
And the Japanese shakuhachi (also constructed of bamboo) is an end-blown
flute that is linked to the spiritual practice of Zen.
The band also uses rababa, also known as the spike fiddle, the kawala, an end-blown
flute instrument, the arghul, a double-pipe said to have survived since the time of the Pharaohs, and nakrazan, a percussion instrument similar to a kettledrum.
Wehbi has spent the last 40 years in his small workshop in the village of Saksakieh, south of Sidon, making all varieties of traditional wooden flutes, including the nay (an end-blown
flute made from a hollow reed), mizmar (a wide-ended flute) and mijwiz (a double-piped flute).