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Issa Music – Featured Selection: (6) “Temptation” June 1, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in fusion jazz, Issa, Issa Legend, jazz, Jesus in India, music, mystic jazz, new age jazz, Saint Issa legend.
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  • (Each month, I will feature a detailed description of one of the thirteen selections from my CD “Issa Music” with a link to the full piece. That link will remain up for one month. After that, the link at this post will be to a one minute clip. One minute clips of all the Issa Pieces are available at my website. Detailed notes on all the pieces are also available there. The full length pieces available with these blog posts are before mastering for CD release. The complete Issa Music CD is available for sale, along with downloads of individual mastered selections.)
  • (“Issa Music” is an East-meets-West mystic jazz CD released inspired by the “Legend of Issa.” Did Jesus journey to India and study Buddhism and Hinduism before his world-changing spiritual mission in Roman-occupied Judea? If so, are West and East spiritually connected in ways we have never imagined? “Issa Music” celebrates this idea with a blend of eastern and western modes and timbres.)

Play this month’s selection: “Temptation”

Background on “Temptation”: This was the third piece from Set Three, nineteenth overall of the Issa pieces. When I thought about having these recordings converted from analog tape to digital, this is one of the pieces I thought about the most, that I really wanted to become acquainted with again. I used that strange mode/scale again, strange to Western ears, with a ♭2 and major third, among other little quirks (see “Eastern Boogie,” Set One #4). I slipped down to the vi chord for the B section, which allowed for some adventurous melodic invention and improvising, playing with blues scales and surprising common tones to bring a strange unity to this quirky piece. And “Temptation”—the exotic nature of the piece was intended to match musically the idea of “temptation.” My intention with this piece was to call up a wide concept of “temptation.” Sure, we think of temptations of pleasure; sex, overindulgence in food and drink, tempted to do wrong for riches. But for me, the idea goes even further. My biggest temptation is anger. I suspect many people get caught up in that same temptation—quick to anger, quick to fall into lashing out when a more patient behavior could bring a more successful outcome, and a more satisfying inner feeling. Add other temptations—self-pity, impatience, pride at the expense of love, even worry—this piece summons all of these temptations musically. Through the piece, I moved in and out of utterly electronic settings to settings with more conventional sounds. At times, the solos scream. But there are also sections like the flute solo, and the flute coupled with a low synth, weaving in a serpentine flow, as if calling forth that lust for pleasure. And there is the trumpet, blaring above the fray, as if too proud to blend. The string ensemble seems to scold the trumpet, and a synth solo laments the dilemmas temptation brings before we return to the main theme. Yes, this is one of my favorites of these pieces. When I find myself angered, or impatient, I summon this music into my head, and try to bring temptation under control.

“Issa Music is Coming” blog post, September 21, 2011.

The story behind Issa Music.

Probable liner notes for the Issa Music CD.

Richard Warren Field music page.


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