Document 406409

ARAB TIMES, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2014
31
High note
Cezary’s Picks
Just enter to play
Jones, that fourth,
but not the last…
By Cezary Owerkowicz
Special to the Arab Times
parable says ‘The last will be
the first’ and the first will be
last and so it has happened. He was
always ‘The Fourth’, a bit lonely
apart from the team and the noisy
and crowded success, giving the
feeling of being at opposite police.
This is the character.
John Paul Jones born John
Baldwin after the war couldn’t live
without music. Both his parents
earned their living playing music.
Since they couldn’t leave the little
boy alone they took him along
wherever they went.
When he was six he began playing
the piano and immediately started
performing with his father during
hunter banquets and cocktail parties.
When he was 13 he got his first bass
guitar. At an early age, he appeared to
show flair for music arrangements.
The one who first noticed his abilities
was
Micky Most,
the
legendary producer, who
nominated
the 20-yearold ‘boy’ as a
music manager of several of his
productions.
Impressed
by
his
Owerkowicz
achievements he said the records of
Herman’s Hermits tinkered by Jones
are going better than Beatle’s.
The only weakness of Jones was
that he was workaholic. Musical erudite, multi instrumentalist with great
sound imagination wasn’t likely to
spend his life to the end at record studio. He joined Led Zeppelin group
and then everything changed under
the magic baton’s touch — everything
except him.
A
Relation
He had ambivalent relation to
show business and status of the
Rock Star. It is noticed by Zeppelin
biographers. During the tours he
stayed aside, choosing his own self
company. At the moment, after the
concert when crowds of fans overrun artistes gloom overtook him, he
just disappeared.
But he never complained of his
colleagues. He felt fantastic with
them around him on the stage; he
loved being there with them and
invented new compositions. For
him this was the most important
thing. He tried to get as much as
possible because he was convinced
that ‘one good card’ would soon
come his way and this is where he
made a mistake.
The just released re-editions of Led
Zeppelin remind us of the madness.
The critics, as usual, complained, the
compatriots were not ready to a value
on the group, the trade was off balance, and huge sums of money were
involved — it was a pure scandal. But
The Quartet achieved unbelievable
success: before Led Zeppelin II album
was released there was an order for
400,000 copies from the US only.
Britain got the next perfect export
goods.
PR created the legend that musicians were under a pact with some
dark powers, as genial Romantic violinist Niccolo Paganini, composer
Adrian Leverkuhn from Mann’s
novel ‘Doctor Faustus’ or father of
American blues, Robert Johnson. The
talent of musicians, their perverse
behavior and sudden enormous
financial success were difficult to
believe and explain within normal
scale. The bright success was so
bright that it aroused suspicions about
something weird. Only The Fourth
was absolutely not compatible with
the legend.
Unlike other groups, the Led
Zeppelin team musicians had very
good internal relationship, maybe
built on the base of common business than on common characters.
Lead singer Robert Plant was curly,
handsome and rather a bit vulgar in
meaning. Guitarist Jimmy Page was
ethereal, pale and delicate, Bonzo
(John Bonham) played percussion
wildly, bare-chested and always
perspiring profusely. John Paul
Jones was totally from a different
fable.
Concentrate
When Led Zeppelin hit the
ground after untimely death of John
Bonham, Jones had almost a soft
landing. The end of the ensemble
helped him to concentrate on music,
although it did not fill the stadiums
to capacity and the pocket to the
brim.
He is quoted as saying, ‘When the
whole world doesn’t look at me finally I feel free’. During the next decade
the Briton was working on the van-
guard album of vocalist Diamanda
Galas. He wrote string arrangements
for R.E.M. album ‘Automatic for the
People’, composed electronic music.
‘In life it is good to create the challenges. If not, you will never know
what is lurking around the corner,’ he
explained. ‘Such attitude does not
allow you to rest on your laurels. For
me it became a necessity. I have
always to prove myself.’
He is a very consistent. Even when
in his 70s he felt in love with minimalism, listening to ‘In C’ by Terry
Riley. At the same time he began
composing electronic music in cooperation with such composers as
Stephen Montague, Barry Anderson
or Dennis Smalley. However he never
dropped the acoustic instruments only
changed a set of them. At last he visited Poland with the vanguard electronic.
He said, ‘Before I start the tour
with Gillian Welch and David
Rawlings playing three weeks on
mandolin country and bluegrass, I
will also compose an Opera. For me
there is no difference what kind of
music it is. I have the same attitude
to each one of them.’ Regarding the
latter he mentioned it is not any rock
opera. We would expect the classical
piece with symphonic orchestra.
He works with an experienced
director, Helen Cooper. They have
‘translated’ in music language the
Swedish
playwright
August
Strindberg ‘The Ghost Sonata’. ‘I just
completed writing music and started
to orchestrate the score’, he said. ‘I
cannot yet disclose the names of performers but they are renowned world
class soloists. There is a plan to present the project in 2016, something
completely new for a man who during his entire life has recorded rock
pieces on the base of guitars.
Ensemble
Between his various works there is
also that group which reminds about
the sound of his basic ensemble. It is
a super-group Them Crooked
Vultures – a combination of Dave
Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and
Josh Homme (Kyuss, Queens of The
Stone Age). Rooted in blues tradition
the music brings the memories of
Jones’ stormy 70s. ‘It reminds me a
bit Led Zeppelin: tracks, lights, huge
amplifiers… Continuously playing
hard rock is however too simple for
me. I love it but I was there already. I
played with the best group in the
world. So what else could I achieve’?
He is open for many ideas.
During the festival in Norway he
had planned to perform solo on his
electronic piece before the performance of the local group. However,
Jazzmen saw it was a unique occasion to ask him to play together.
‘Our
trumpet
player, Arve
Henriksen met him a day earlier and
asked him about it, and he just
agreed, even though he had never
heard them playing.’
Jones tells us: ‘There was a challenge and — lessons for me. I only
asked ‘What kind of music you play?
Arve answered: We never talk about
it. Then I had no idea. I entered the
stage with my bass and we started.
When we finished it appeared that we
played our first common music for 80
minutes.’ My cooperation with that
group ‘Supersilent’ brought several
concerts with elements of jazz and
rough electronic rubbing themselves
with improvisation. The fans became
familiar with ‘New Jones’and stopped
asking him for ‘Stairways to Heaven’.
The famous ballade came again
to us in Oct, when there was the reedition of Led Zeppelin albums:
famous ‘IV’ and ‘Houses of the
Holy’. As it was with first three
albums of British musicians, fans
would expect more surprises: on the
additional discs they would find
unpublished new versions of cult
pieces. The June (summer) editions
made the top of the bestseller lists.
We will see how it will be in
(autumn). Additionally Robert Plant
presents new album ‘Lullaby and …
The Ceaseless Roar’. At last he won
the Grammy Award for album with
bluegrass singer Alison Krauss.
Jones says: ‘Led Zeppelin was a
very musical, driving in many directions group. Every song we tried to
play differently. In ‘No Quarter’ was
no part where I had to play solo in any
concert. I never knew what I wanted
do. I went to the electric piano and just
started hitting the keys.’ Makes sense,
‘Just enter to play.’
❑
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❑
Editor’s
Photo courtesy of ‘Failaka Island, The Ikaros of the Arabian Gulf’ book by Tareq Sayid Rajab
At low tide a fisherman enters the fish trap and with the help of a hand net scoops the trapped fish from the shallow water inside ‘al Hadhrah.’ The catch is usually plentiful. In the past these fish traps were made from reeds but now metal nettings, which lasts longer, is used.
Pioneers of Kuwait
Sheikh Mubarak’s political alertness saved Kuwait
A shrewd and far-sighted leader
This is the eleventh in a series of
articles on founding fathers of
Kuwait. – Editor
❑
❑
❑
By Lidia Qattan
Special to the Arab Times
uring the first years of his rule
Sheikh Mubarak had to be on constant military and political alertness to
abort the plotting of his archenemies,
when this immediate danger subsided
he still had to be very shrewd in taking
advantage of the tension preceding the
First World War to safeguard the interest of his country, indeed to save it !
Sheikh Mubarak had been on the
alert to what was going on in Europe
long before he came to power. He knew
that unless he acted skilfully in the
political game of the European powers
before the partition of the dying
Ottoman Empire actually took place,
Kuwait, being the closest to Iraq would
have been lost.
He also knew that he had to seek an
alliance with the strongest power with
vested interests in the region, on which
to depend for protection against an
attack from more powerful neighbours.
Hence when he came to power his first
intention was to engage in a treaty of
mutual interest with England. The
British hesitated at first, but changed
their policy when the Railway-project
became the issue of the other European
powers.
Foreign traders had noticed Kuwait’s
importance and its strategic position at
the head of the Gulf long before it
attracted the attention of Europe at the
turn of the century as the terminal of
the Baghdad railway project, which was
considered to become a very important
artery for international trade with financial and geo-political implications.
The thought of building a railway
connecting the Mediterranean basin
with the Gulf originated with the
British at the time the French opened
the Suez Canal in 1869 and Britain was
excluded. Seeking an alternative traderoute to India, and for moving troops
and reinforcement in case of a Russian
infiltration through Persia, G. Britain
studied the possibility of connecting
Alexandretta on the Syrian coast with
Kuwait on the Arabian Gulf. The project was made feasible, but it was considered too expensive to be carried out,
hence it was postponed.
In the tension preceding the First
World War the railway project took a
fresh consideration. At once Kuwait
became the talk of European political
and banking circles. Even the Emperor
of Germany disclosed his interest when
he sought to know more about Kuwait
in a social meeting with King Edward
VII of England!
Both German and Russia were eager
to capitalize on the project; therefore
they sought an agreement with the
Ottoman government. Finally, when in
D
Note:
Cezary
Owerkowicz is the chairman of
the Kuwait Chamber
of
Philharmonia
and talented
pianist. He regularly organises
concerts by well-known musicians for the benefit of music
lovers and to widen the knowledge of music in Kuwait. His email address is: cowerkowicz
@yahoo.com and [email protected]
click
Latest
Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah with Russian officials aboard their ship.
1898 the Russians Count, Kapnist got
the permit to build a line from Tripoli
in Syria, via Baghdad ending at
Qathema, the British got worried and
sought a treaty with Sheikh Mubarak.
Treaty
Since the turn of the nineteenth century the British had been aiming at
establishing their status quo in the
region through signing agreements with
the various rulers of the Gulf on the
Arabia coast. They were becoming
increasingly apprehensive of the intention of the two major European powers
— France with Russia and the Ottoman
empire with Germany both posed to
gain a footing in the Arabian Gulf
through the railway line project that
was supposed to end at Qathema
(Kuwait).
Having closed the door on all
European powers at the south of the
Gulf by agreements with rulers on the
Arabian coast, the British then felt they
had to have Kuwait in their alliance to
prevent infiltration from the north.
In a memorandum addressed to
his government, the
British official stated.... “The Sheikh
enjoys a large
measure of practical independence. It
is necessary to deal
with him directly
for the protection
of British trade”.
British concern
Lidia Qattan
grew stronger when
the Russians got the Turkish grant on
the 30th of December 1898 to build the
railway. Determined to stop them, the
British hasted to meet with Sheikh
Mubarak and drew-up a treaty of mutual interest. For the Sheikh this was the
only means by which he could safeed to kindly participate in the memorable
event and make it a great grand success.
The Invitation Card shall be sent shortly.
Kindly confirm your attendance by
sending an email to [email protected]
or call our Kuwait Chapter office at
22445588, extn.314 between 5:30 pm and
8:30 pm, Sunday through Thursday.
Continued from Page 30
The venue for this celebration is the
prestigious Arab Organization Building
(Arab Fund), Shuwaikh Kuwait.
All our esteemed members are request-
Nov 10
IWA to hold seminar: On Monday,
Nov 10 from 5 pm to 8 pm, the Indian
Women’s Association (IWA) under the
guard his position and the future of his
country, hence, before he signed it, he
insisted on the addition of an explicit
statement confirming the defence of
Kuwait by Britain if attacked by a foreign power.
Though the British Government did
not make such an agreement with any
other Arabian rulers in the Gulf in similar treaties, in their eagerness to ensure
the deal, they granted to the Sheikh the
security he was seeking as long as he
honoured his part of the agreement
On the 23rd of January 1899 the
treaty with Mubarak was signed but
was kept secret. It had to be disclosed
one year later when the Ottomans, trying to compensate for the Balkan losses
in the Turk-Russian war, made an
agreement with Germany to build the
railway with its terminal at Qathema (
Kuwait ). Forced to reveal the treaty
with Sheikh Mubarak, the British foreign office sent its Ambassador to meet
with the High Porte and with the
German Government.
While the British were holding talk
with the Ottomans at Istanbul and with
the German Government in Berlin,
Sheikh Mubarak was meeting with count
Meternich, head of the Germany surveying team, which arrived to Kuwait for discussing the leasing or selling of some
land at Qathema. During talk the Sheikh
stood firm, holding no recognition of the
High Porte authority over Kuwait and
refusing to sell or rent any piece of
Kuwaiti land to a foreigner, which,
according to his statement, was against
the will of his people.
Attention
The attention to Kuwait’s importance
at the international level, spurred
towards the turn of the century by the
railway projects, resulted in an increasingly intrusive policy on the Gulf by
the Ottoman Turks with an eye on
patronage of Dr Gargi Jain, wife of the
Ambassador of India will present a seminar
titles ‘Breaking the Chains of Addiction’ at
Auditorium W6-500, GUST University. The
program includes presentations on various
aspects of addiction, their prevention and
cure. The panelists include various experts
in the field. The seminar is open to all and
completely free. To reserve your seat, please
contact 24898680.
Nov 13
TCB-IEI World Quality Day: TCB Cert
Kuwait. This called for Sheikh
Mubarak’s shrewdness in dealing with
the political game of the great European
powers. So while the British were trying to gain exclusive privileges on
Kuwait with agreements of mutual
interest, the first of which was signed
on the 23rd of January 1899, both the
Germans and the Russians were also
trying to gain a footing in Kuwait
through an agreement with the Ottoman
Turks. This prompted the British to
send three warships to Kuwait harbour
with an armed contingent ready for any
eventuality.
At the same time the made other
treaties with Sheikh Mubarak in which
he proved considerable far-sight in
dealing with a foreign power in safeguarding the future of his country. Such
was the case of the treaty signed on the
4th of May 1900 to curtail the arms
trafficking to Afghanistan.
It was a lucrative business in which
every sheikdom in the Gulf was
engaged and to which the British government in India was firmly opposed.
By honouring the deal the Sheikh
gained the British trust, which proved
valuable in time of need.
While safeguarding the future of his
country Sheikh Mubarak had to deal with
the immediate threats form his archenemy,
Yousef Abdullah Al Ibrahim, who could
not rest while Sheikh Mubarak was in
power. Having gained the support of the
Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Jasim Al Thani in
an attack on Kuwait by land and sea from
the south, he sought the alliance of
Mohammed Ibn Al Rashid, Amir of the
great Shamar tribe, to attack Kuwait from
the north .
Mohammed Al Rashid was the archenemy of Sheikh Mubarak, his old
grudge intensified when he gave sanctuary to the Imam r Abdul-Rahman
Faisal Al Saud, who fled to Kuwait
after the destruction of his last stronghold, Riyadh, hence he was more than
willing to do battle against Sheikh
Mubarak, but his timely death aborted
the plan of Yousef, which was to be
carried out in 1898.
Disappointed but never defeated Yousef
travelled to Ha’il, accompanied by the
sons of the late Sheikh Mohammed and
Sheikh Jarrah, trying to gain support from
the new Amir of the Shamar tribe, Sheikh
Abdul Aziz Al Rashid was willing, but
cautious in fighting Sheikh Mubarak. The
Sheikh was a formidable foe admired by
his friends and feared and hated by other
Arab chiefs who had their own ambitions
to fulfil. Prominent among his enemy was
his father, Mohammed Al Rashid, who
said to him with his dying breath: “ Son,
Beware of Mubarak, fight him with all
you have … promise me!”
Eventually, backed by the Ottoman
Turks, he could fulfil his promise to his
father with a defeat that shattered
Sheikh Mubarak’s ambitious dream of
expansion to the south.
To be continued
Worldwide has great pleasure to announce
the celebration of World Quality Day on
Nov 13, 2014 in Kuwait. The event is professionally supported by The Institution of
Engineers (India) Kuwait Chapter. A seminar
titled ‘Excelling Business — The ISO Way’
will be conducted. The program will start at
6.30 pm and continue till 9.30 pm. Some of
the prominent quality professionals in
Kuwait will speak on the event to highlight
the importance of Quality in industries, business and in our lives.
Continued on Page 32
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