Artist: Universal Melodies / Nashaat Salman
Album: Universal Melodies – Vol. 1
I’m about to write a music review and I have to be 100% honest with you: I’m not entirely sure Nashaat Salman actually exists! He originally contacted me three weeks ago about reviewing his music and playing it on The Backstage Radio Program, and I was indeed intrigued. Since then, I’ve followed up with him several times in messages never to hear from him again. That being said, I know Mr. Salman lives a double-life and is quite a busy man, so I’m going on the assumption that when he climbs out of his presumably large work pile, he’ll happily come across the charmingly nice review I’m about to write for him.
So the double-life bit: I’m sure you’re intrigued. Man of mystery! 007? No (at least not to my personal knowledge), but he is an Engineer and Business Manager by trade as his day job, composing and arranging music as his passion in the evening. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, he has not only composed his own pieces, but he is a film and multimedia music composer, instrumentalist and orchestrator. He works to blend elements of both Eastern and Western music and themes which is evident in his pieces, and strives to use music to blend cultures. Isn’t that the beauty of music? It’s the language we all speak, no matter what our differences?
The first song I heard (and played on The Backstage Pass Radio Program on 09/25/15 ) was Summer Joy Night, a gorgeous and lush laid back samba with a middle-eastern flair to it. The piano, which appears to be Nashaat’s main instrument, is front and center here and while I’ve never been a huge fan of synthesized instrumentation, I think it works fairly well here for the horns and percussion that he needs to add in to get the flavor he’s looking for. It’s aptly named: it’s everything you’d wish for with a drink in hand on a summer night at the beach.
The next song, Dancing Star, is easily my favorite. It starts out a timid, but eventually starts moving towards it’s eventually Indian flare, but keeping some interesting aspects of dance and club music in it. I was super-happy to hear table, sitar, and I think even some sarangi instrumentation introduced in there. I personally love that more and more songwriters are following the Bollywood trend and incorporating some of the amazing Indian music themes out there. Such gorgeous themes to borrow from, and Salman’s “Dancing Star” does this quite well. You can hear this radio version live on The Backstage Pass Radio Program on Friday, 10/16/15.
There’s also some very interesting videos on his site, which I’m assuming are some of his commercial work. One of the most interesting was the video of the Waterford Crystal factory in Ireland, along with a clip to a video game called Aeon Flux. As a side note: I’ve met so many musicians who have also found commercial success in video work. I’ve been hired several times to do voice-over work for video, and it’s a natural cross-over for a lot of musicians. (Search for Titan Quest on YouTube and you’ll find a few rabid fans in Japan!)
I’m extremely impressed with how Salman has managed to find an impressive balance between his day job and his passion for music. He’s clearly hard at work creating really intricate and impressive instrumental work that’s appealing to both the casual listening and also has great appeal for commercial success. I’m sure this “man of mystery” has a lot more musical projects up his sleeves, and I for one am looking forward to hearing them (and maybe from him – I joke! I kid!) one day!
You’ll be able to hear Universal Melodies / Nashaat Salman on The Backstage Pass Radio Program on the following Fridays: 10/16, 10/23, and 10/30. Please visit www.backstagepassradio.com and bookmark it for NOON, PST to hear him live on the program!