This is a song encompassing the ‘sound of the desert’. Featuring rich and exotic instruments like the sitar, tabla, duduk, and other middle eastern influences.
Middle eastern music has been made popular in the Western world by artists such as Lévon Minassian, Cheb Mami, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and even Youssou N’Dour. It’s impossible to capture the greatness of these artists in a single song, but what is captured is a sense of ‘wonder’.
When we think of a land far away, we think of exploration, of caravans, of pyramids and mummies, of a hot sun and busy bazaar, many people in the marketplace selling their wares. This is music useful for a documentary on travel or history, a film score with an eastern setting, a roleplaying game set in the desert, and even as a way to add interest to a photo album or vacation reel.
Musically, what sets this song apart is that it doesn’t use the traditional Persian scale, with a flat 2nd note which sounds quite ominous, but the Mixolydian scale that instead uses a flat seventh and keeps the major aspects, being a friendlier and more Western comfortable sound. Still used in Eastern influenced music by artists such as Peter Gabriel, it’s much more accessible while still lending its exotic flavour.