Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 30 May 2020

Hitting the right note: Jordanian choir riff on 'Money Heist' song to deliver ode to staying home

Mosaica Singers won Choir of the Year in last year’s Choirfest Middle East

Every singer recorded their performance separately. Mosaica Singers / YouTube
Every singer recorded their performance separately. Mosaica Singers / YouTube

A Jordanian choir dropped an enchanting public service announcement over the weekend.

The Mosaica Singers, headquartered in the capital city of Amman, came together online to record the song Khalik bil Bait.

Translated as the Arabic version of “stay home", the song has achieved more than 100,000 views on the group’s Facebook page and has been lauded across the kingdom.

“It has been a really great reaction and we have received a lot of positive messages from people in the country and other choirs overseas,” says the group’s conductor Nedy Muna. “We hope we can inspire other choirs to do something similar.”

With Jordan under lockdown for the past two weeks in a bid to stem the spread of Covid-19, Muna says the group wanted to drill home the safety message of staying home, stating some citizens have yet to understand the severity of the situation.

“At the beginning there were some people who didn’t understand the importance of this topic and whatever we are going through,” Muna says.

“So we, as a group, wanted to play our part in making people realise what is going on, but in a fun and music way.”

The track is partly inspired by Bella Ciao from the Netflix hit Money Heist

Mosaica Singers were big winners in last year's Choirfest Middle East in Dubai. Courtesy Nedy Muna
Mosaica Singers were big winners in last year's Choirfest Middle East in Dubai. Courtesy Nedy Muna

Mosaica Singers certainly hit the right note.

The song’s lullaby nature is down to the arrangement, written by Muna, which melds late 19th-century Italian folk song Bella Ciao (recently made famous by the Netflix hit Money Heist) and Hashishet Albi by Lebanese songwriter Khaled Mouzanar.

The lyrics, written by choir members Lydia Zananiri and Leen Abul Leil, are both gently witty and heartfelt as they urge people to stay indoors, all the while acknowledging the domestic discord that it can bring.

“We have had our breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert / We have finished the food in the pantry/ We put on 13 kilos / We watched all the series on Netflix / We fought over the remote control and we made up with cookies / We will overcome this period inshallah.”

More impressive is how Muna and the choir’s leadership team managed to create the cohesive work. Indeed, similar to a mosaic, the song was pieced together from 20 separately recorded vocals complete with various harmonies.

“We did an audio guide for every singer and a video of myself conducting this song,” Muna said. “We sent this out to every singer, who each recorded themselves with the help of the guide and conducting video. Then our members Leen Abul Leil and Marah Zada put all the videos together in sync.”

The Arab world’s promising new ensemble

The track marks another achievement for Mosaica Singers, who recently celebrated their first anniversary.

It has been a brilliant 12 months, thus far. Formed early last year from previous members from various Jordanian ensembles, the group went on to perform regularly across the country with a repertoire consisting of Arabic folk, choral and sacred music.

The group’s skills were revealed to the wider region in Dubai last March, after winning the Choir of the Year prize as part of ChoirFest Middle East.

With weekly practise postponed at present, Muna says he is already working on new material for the group’s next round of performances, whenever they may be. Until then, he says he is enjoying his homestay.

“I am creating new arrangements and generally having a rest,” he says. “I find staying at home is a blessing, but of course, I don’t want this to be for too long.”

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Updated: March 29, 2020 05:57 PM

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