Birthday: Jackie Nassif.. many roots of different music
This corner restores an Arab or international cultural figure on his birthday, in an attempt to illuminate other aspects of his personality or his creative world. Today, July 4, marks the birthday of Lebanese composer Jackie Nassif (1918-2004).
In his book “Jackie Nassif, The Gifted World” (2016), researcher Victor Sahab mentions the many influences that enriched his experience celebrating the Lebanese composer’s birthday today, Monday.
He explains that at the end of the school year, when he began to sing and play odes in annual concerts, Nassif caught the attention of one of the “Saviour’s School” teachers, Habib al-Shammaz. A band founded by musician Najib al-Shalfon, toured several Lebanese regions for two months in the summer of 1933.
In addition to being introduced to the voices of Salama Hijazi, Abu al-Ala Muhammad and Sayyid al-Safti at an early age, according to the book, he switched from religious chant to secular singing, but the major turning point in his career came in 1936 when he joined the music institute at the American University in Beirut, where he met a teacher. He began learning the Beethoven sonnets from the French mathematician and arranger Bertrand Robert and his Czech school teacher. Although he worked in business at this point, it did not distract him from pursuing his major project in music and singing.
However, with the encouragement of Sabri al-Sharif, Nasif, interviewed by the Sahab in the book by “Near East Radio” in 1953, officially began, where he was accompanied by the Rahbani brothers Tawfiq al-Basha and. Philemon to establish what was later known as “The League of Five” and he began to form a group of widely popular light dance songs. After Near East Radio was shut down, he took part with League members in the “Ballbeck Festival” in 1957, breaking away about two years later to become “Asbadin”; Mansour and Assi al-Rahbani Fayrouz and Sabri al-Sharif and “The Lights Band”, which included Sayyid Freeha, Zaki Nasif, Tawfiq al-Basha and Wadih al-Safi.
Nasif’s split from the Rahbani brothers not only reflects the competitive spirit that governed their relationship, but also reveals a fundamental difference in vision and musical agenda, with Asi and Mansoor initially wanting to sing for a real homeland other than the fantasy they had drawn. So Jaqi’s songs like “Bora”, Al-Ard and “Hello, Sanabel” were an embodiment of the idea of building and working for the homeland, while Al-Rahbana “My homeland, O Mountain of the blue clouds” or “From the gold of lost time”.
Nassif did not want to embellish Lebanon, instead, he dedicated his simple melodic phrase to what he considered an outgrowth of the singing of farmers and shepherds in his hometown of Mashkara. Lebanese music educator Walid Kolmih describes his melodies. Easy and when implemented, its difficulties become clear”; the melodies belong to the tradition of his country, the Levant, who believes that “there is no pure Lebanese music”, from the author’s point of view, he will create it through political affiliation with the “Social Nationalist Party”. He composed its anthem.
The owner of the song “Ya Ashiqat Al-Ward” managed to achieve that unique status when he founded the Lebanese song and left an indelible mark on songs like “Rajee Ya. ‘Mar Liban” and “Sing to me in the quiet night” he composed for himself or Nasri Shams on the songs he composed for others. Includes El-Din’s “And Your Life, O Path of the Eye” and “Tale Our Loved Ones”. , Tale” Wadih al-Safi.
Jackie Nasif left behind more than five hundred melodies, the result of his musical research. Theoretical and practical, mainly traditional, and in order to express that “oneness” in his work, he presents songs written in the plural form of “we” and tries to include through his works about harmony, color harmony and vibrant rhythms. And music, but without giving up for a moment about the “congregation” he wrote and sang.
“Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic.”