I have witnessed growth and maturation with each release I have had the pleasure to listen to from Samer Fanek. With Call of the Desert, this young and vibrant pianist reaches back to his roots and creates an astonishing array of tracks.
Samer’s music is very cinematic and so vital to the core of his message. He wants to go back to the Middle East and perform this music. His homeland of Jordan inspired this music and longing to go back there. Such inspiration and beauty lie within the heart of every human. It comes from the heart to the fingers through the piano.
I felt the honesty of this music, and the excitement that gave me chills from the start. “Call of the Desert - Part I” brings you to Jordan within seconds. It gets more interesting musically with lovely orchestrations to accentuate the elegant piano playing from that point on.
“Into The Sun” is as picturesque as the cover art. However, the sun is going down to relieve those people from the intense desert heat. At the end of the journey is a piano and palm tree off to the side. Is this a mirage for those weary travelers? I think not. The music is convincing, and you are there right in the middle of that scenery created by Samer’s music.
Call of the Desert is Samer’s most inspired and ambitious work. The equation is simple; home is where the heart is. It will be good for everyone to hear this music. I know here in the U.S. that a different picture is painted of the Middle East thanks to the media and social platforms. Every home and country has its unique beauty to its inhabitants. With this music, perhaps we all can see that more clearly. We can take the first exit down the right road as we cast aside any preconceived ideas or thoughts pushed onto us 24/7. Samer can be our guiding light to a world we can only imagine in our minds. He knows through his past experiences what Jordan is and what it means to his people. With that knowledge and heartfelt expression, he conveys it all beautifully.
Tracks like “The Old Arabic Shop” are reflective and have a sweetness. And indeed, through the eyes of the beholder and his memories, we can envision what he remembers. “Pleading to You” is full of emotion, and the track title could mean many things. I know that the music sounds like it asks you to listen and absorb the sounds and colors of a world far away from where you sit now. Samer brings it all to life instantaneously through his music.
“Desert Rush” is full of movement and drama as you take the arduous journey over the unknown desert landscape. The excitement is a rush of adrenaline you have never experienced before.
The recording ends dramatically with “Call of the Desert - Part II,” as Samer’s gentle touch lends a sublime beauty to some masterful keyboard magic that you just enjoyed. I know this would sound so amazing on vinyl LP. It was so consuming as I listened to it all. I felt like I was in a storybook about a land I did not know. It does not seem so far away after listening to Call of the Desert anymore.
Capturing another country’s atmosphere and a young man’s memories inside the music is an outstanding achievement. In this excellent release, Samer Fanek has recreated everything about Jordan in his heart and mind. It will capture your imagination, I promise.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
April 11, 2022
01. Call of the Desert - Part I
02. Nighttime Celebrations
03. Where Did the Time Go?
04. Into the Sun
05. The Old Arabic Shop
06. Dramatic Encounters
07. Mediterranean Moments
08. Pleading to You
09. Desert Rush
10. Call of the Desert - Part II
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