ZAZUKA هديل feat. Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg
by Walter Price
In an attempt at pure candor, it would be almost impossible for me to articulate the depths of beauty the recent humbling Arabic-languaged single “هديل” (Hadeel) by Zazuka graces us all with. Profound childhood contemplations carried through to adulthood and recorded with Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg, Hadeel’s backstory is thoughtfully detailed on the Artist’s Bandcamp page…
“Hadeel” (Arabic for the cooing sound that pigeons make) is a song that takes me back to a pure state of childish pondering as I try to understand my surroundings and my being.
“The creative process was catalyzed by a childhood memory. In it, I am very young, not even school-age. I sit in our apartment in Jebel Amman in Jordan on a lazy summer afternoon. Somehow the smell of petrichor on aging marble and limestone permeates all these memories. The afternoon sun rays cast dappled shadows through the lace curtains onto the grey and white flecked laminated dining table. I’m hearing a sound outside. It must be a bird, I think. I ask my father what the sound is, just outside the window. ‘Those are pigeons,’ he said. ‘Not owls?’ I ask again, to rule out my assumption. ‘No, not owls.’
“Pigeons, he said. Like the pigeons, he sings me a lullaby about at night? He sings, ‘Sleep, ya habibi, sleep…I would sacrifice the pigeons for you.’ It’s a well-known lullaby and it did the trick, his voice would soothe me to sleep…but now I started thinking earnestly about the words. Out of a simple inquiry about my sonic environment, I spiral into an existential thread about sacrifice and interconnectedness of life forms that I, as a five-year-old, cannot quite articulate yet. Why would he sacrifice something for me? Why does something have to die in order for other creatures to live?
“35 years later here is the song for that. I can’t say that I found the answers to those questions I posed then, but through the ever-changing methods of how I move through this world, I try to be conscious of the transactions that are happening.”
Self-awareness is a gift that often becomes lost or perhaps intertwined with too much of life’s noise to let it run its appropriate course in shaping who we will become. With this enchanting and picturesque single, Zazuka reminds us to breathe in all the memories, lessons, and elements around us. A testament to how substantial all the small, quiet moments can become.
Photography by Mariam Mekiwi // Quotes via Bandcamp
“Hadeel – هديل” music & lyrics by Zazuka
Arranger: Martina Colli
Additional arrangement: Zeina Azouqah
Mixing Engineer: Shakthi Prasad KT
Mastering: Maxi Menot
Photography: Mariam Mekiwi
Assisted by: Wissam W.
“I recorded the orchestral part with the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg and the generous support of track15 female* composers collective. It was arranged and orchestrated by Martina Colli with some additional arrangements by myself. The artwork was shot by Egyptian filmmaker Mariam Mekiwi, who is also based in Berlin. I hold out my hands in front of you, offering you my latest release.” – Zazuka (Bandcamp)