Noor, a concept album chronicling the compelling true story of a pacifist Sufi Indian princess who made a seemingly incongruous choice to become a radio operator spy for the Allies during WWII, was subsequently captured by the Gestapo, tortured, and executed at Dachau. This is a rich, movie-ready tale that has been compartmentalized into seven songs which conjure myriad images of the destiny-determining situations Princess Noor Inayat Khan heroically confronted during her short life. Moreover, the listener is easily drawn into a vicarious position of thinking about how they themselves might respond upon facing the same life-shaping choices and tests of the soul she confronted with great courage and virtue. Noor reveals itself to be rather like a hybrid Arabic, Indian, West-African world music nod to prog – an avant-garde progressive world music if you like labels. These are longer length songs (five of the seven songs range from 7-11 minutes) often parsed together using movements, which helps Armes to flesh out these musical vignettes. They are primarily driven by keyboards that shift through jazz inflected electric piano vamps, textured synth washes, and a wide variety of dialed-up sounds such as xylophone and Egyptian oboe with tempered microtones. Modal acoustic guitar riffing skirts the periphery but jumps to the forefront in the right spaces, and is underpinned by a melodically insistent bass joined by what has become by now, Armes’ hallmark admixture of strongworld percussion this time featuring talking drums, dumbek, ubang and udu. Recorded and Mixed at Village Recording by Geoffrey Armes and Tom Desisto Featuring: Geofffrey Armes on guitar, vocals, keyboards, and percussion Copyright 2006 Geoffrey Armes ASCAP
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