Sunny with Occasional Rain
Two things were becoming clear as I was moving towards a longer term commitment to Dubai and exploring the possibilities of staying perhaps for a year or two. First was that I would need to find a good sound engineer and second I would need to acquire some understanding of Arabic music styles. There were of course other considerations but the priorities were obvious, as they were essential to my income generation and needed concrete solutions. I had been working in London with a talented young producer/ engineer, Nick Caffrey. I had enjoyed working with him back in Berwick Street Studios in London. He was clever and imaginative , we had good empathy and he shared to no small degree some of my diverse music ideas and social passtimes .We had clicked as a creative team and I wondered if he might consider a stint in the Middle East. Nick, as it turned out, was up for it, which was a huge relief to me. Part two, required a lot of listening and a lot of interacting with local Arabic musicians. By chance, an encounter with a truly wonderful Emirati artist revealed some fascinating insights. I asked him if he could advise me how to get to the heart of Arabic music, especially as I did not speak the language but had been made to understand the supreme importance of the words and nuances of Arabic lyrics. His reply was the kind of sentiment that only a true artist could express. ‘You must’, he said, ‘travel into the desert with a bedouin guide, spend a week and listen to the desert, then you will understand everything’. Although I have been to the desert many times, I regret that I never followed his specific advice . However I have learned in my time in the Gulf how so many of the local rhythms originate from the gait of the camel, evolving as the Bedouin wandered from place to place, creating and reciting poetry, with the changing pace of their amazing and indispensable partners setting the rhythmic patterns.
My situation felt loose and a bit uncertain, yet there was a certain feeling of adventure developing, it had an energy and I was running with it. there were wide boys and good people, strange people and people who you would never connect with in this tax free all welcoming heaven. I had coined a great idea for a brand – I would call our new company EARTHBEAT which seemed to resonate with the desert, exoticism, and strength. My friend and advertising guru, Mounir Assadourian, whom I had know very well and who had recently launched his own ad agency, was excited with the name and wanted to handle the branding, partly to help me out and partly because he genuinely liked the idea. i was thrilled. we were going to take our baby and hurl it into the industry maelstrom. Nick and I felt charged. he had settled in quickly and was happy, I felt there was an embryo taking shape. life, as ever, turned out to have other plans and intervened in an unexpected and irreconcilable way.
Sunny with Occasional Rain
Sunny with Occasional Rain is a blog series written by BKP Media Group CEO, Barry Kirsch, highlighting moments from his intriguing career.