Ariel Balevi; William Beauvais
Independent WLCD 012010
Storyteller Ariel Balevi and guitarist/composer/improviser William Beauvais are a creative team to be reckoned with. “Unspoken Dreams - Stories from Rumi” is concurrently perplexing and interesting in its content and presentation.
Balevi “reads” five stories from the Masnavi, a collection of stories and stories within stories that Rumi, the 13th century Sufi poet and mystic, used in his teachings. Balevi's diction is clear, and his timing is impeccable. Most surprisingly, he has the uncanny knack of drawing the listener deep into the text when least expected to create a powerful listening experience. He is an excellent storyteller with a distinctive voice that brings the stories he so loves to life.
At times, Balevi risks becoming a bit over the top in his sentiment. This is where guitarist William Beauvais weaves his magic. Clearly relishing his musical supporting role, Beauvais’ improvisations, compositions and performance provide the perfect backdrop/soundscape while simultaneously creating clear boundaries to prevent a sonic crash. Between stories as musical interludes, his renditions of the simple Yoruban and Bantu songs are beautiful moments which prepare the listener for the next story.
The sound of the voice and guitar blend with ease and colour. Production qualities are superb. Fans of storytelling should be impressed by “Unspoken Dreams - Stories from Rumi.” The rest of us open minded enough to give this Balevi/Beauvais collaboration a listen should be pleasantly surprised. The disc is available through the Canadian Music Centre Distribution Service (www.musiccentre.ca).