In this project, a Belgian composer (pianist) and a Tunisian composer (oud player) collaborated to create a scene full of sounds, words, and pictures based on the texts of the poet Paul André. They are accompanied by four other musicians (violin, cello, singing and percussions). Tales generally tell us about human necessities: the joys and fears of life, the fragility of daily life, secrets and desires, the awareness of death or the power of hope. The musical composition, created for the show, aims at saying what the tale was not able to reveal clearly or what it whispers, and in fact is an internal response to an echo in the text. Paul Andre’s tales from the desert presented are life experiences, life lessons. Paul Andre defines the desert as a place where we can find ourselves.
Inner wisdom is inspired from the rare presence. As he says by himself, “Meeting someone in the desert is quite an event” Only a few things, just a few words and that makes the strength of the event.
The way the eastern and western musical languages meet is not a question of musicology here, but rather a human encounter, where each person reveals himself by listening.
The author of the tales collects parts of the oral tradition and then begins to write, and here the two musical composers took the same approach as they first exchanged their spontaneous impressions, before putting them on paper, hoping to create a sincere texture parallel to the ideas of the author of the stories. Improvisation here expresses “irreversibility” and wisdom. Writing gives it a frame and makes it more convenient. As in any story, the text is delivered in the confidentiality. Perhaps this explains the intimacy and simplicity of the relationship between music and text in our project.