CAIRO – 10 April 2021: Egyptians took to social media last week to express how they were deeply touched with the orchestral musical performance of the Pharaohs Golden Parade. The “Song of Isis” was saved on many playlists, and played in cars on the daily ride, in an unprecedented interaction to this type of music.
Ney Player Hany Hamed el-Badry said he was dazzled by this unexpected, and overwhelming reaction to the orchestra’s performance.
“We expected people will be fascinated with the decorations, lighting and the dancers’ pharaonic costume, but we never foresaw the incredible attention the orchestra musician received,” Badry added in an interview with Egypt Today.
Having played the Ney, or the end-blown flute, for 28 years, Badry said that it was fascinating to see normal the public touched by our performance, although they are not familiar with the orchestral music, besides the fact that the Soprano was singing in ancient Egyptian language.
“What distinguishes this event from any previous concert is that it has equally highlighted all elements of the orchestra, including players of solo and group instruments, rather than focusing only on singers as we used to see before,” he added
The impact created by this phenomenal performance lasted even after the curtains came down and has put pressure on the musicians to better prepare for future high-level performances, Badry continued.
Fusion of Arabic oriental music
Ney is one of the oldest musical instruments still in use. Wind musical instruments have kept the same shape, as well as number and places of holes since the ancient times.
There was a part in the parade’s musical performance, where Arabic oriental instruments were played to give a sense of connection to the culture of the land hosting the event.
Pharaoh playing Ney
“Ney and Rebab were fused cautiously and to a certain degree; we knew that the performance should not sound Arabic, because, at the end, it is not Arabic, it is Pharaonic,” said Badry, adding “that was the hardest part.”
No musical notations were imported from the ancient Egyptian times, which made the task of producing a pharaonic piece of music not easy. The music played at the parade, according to Badry, was close to a balanced mix of Arabic, Coptic and Nubian music, “the closest thing to the [author’s] imagination of how a pharaonic music would sound like.”
Parade & Social media powers
After the parade, users in Egypt and abroad flooded social media platforms with pictures and names of the musicians, praising them for their elegant performances.
“There is no doubt social media has great powers; it is created by normal people, and it is difficult to be directed,” said Badry.
“Music is meant to make people happy, that’s why we seek to shed light on the fact that music should be appreciated, just like singing and lyrics,” he explained.
For Badry, calls to stop Mahraganat music (Egyptian electronic music)were not valid. He said that everyone has the right to produce the music he likes, and the audience at the end evaluates and chooses what to listen to.
Speaking about the state’s efforts to produce such a dazzling event, Badry called on the state to continue to play this role to produce quality music for the audience, giving similar attention to this type of art.