Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Gregorian puts new slant on rock music

The group, which chants modern pop and rock songs, will preform in Dubai on Thursday.

An enchanting evening awaits Dubai music lovers with Gregorian performing tonight at Madinat Arena.

The seven-piece, robe-clad German group transforms modern pop and rocks songs into ethereal and elegiac Gregorian chants.

The vocalist Amelia Brightman explains that the covers approach is not a cynical cash grab but acts a bridge for audiences to the centuries-old art form: "It is taking something very familiar and putting it in a new and interesting place.

"People report spiritual experiences when they come to the concerts because there is that familiarity with that sacred environment that comes from the voices but at the same time you are hearing songs that are familiar. So there are two things that you are comfortable with and you feel good about it melded together."

Examples of the rock staples taken to another dimension include Gregorian's takes on Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven and Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb.

Where the latter had Roger Waters sounding angry and despondent, Gregorian's version is uplifting and hymnlike.

According to Brightman, songs are picked according to how vocally flexible they are. "There are certain musical necessities because of the seven-tone element of Gregorian chanting," she says.

Brightman says there is more to the Gregorian live experience than seven ashen-faced monks crowded together. There is a fair element of theatre woven in, enhancing the otherworldly feel of it all.

"There is a lot of fire, including a fire-breathing drummer. The choreography is amazing and there are effects all over the place," she says.

Thursday night at Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets start from Dh295, available from www.timeouttickets.com

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National