Rhythm of Al-Fijri (Bahri)

Ishaq Madan

Al-fijri folklore songs have been an integral composition of Bahraini culture due to its historic relationship with Bahrain’s pearl diving community; it reflects the blood, sweat, & tears of a community filled with passion through literary melodies born from an individual’s experiences in the journey of a pearl diving life, often transforming into a collective hypnotic rhythm of motion and sound. Rhythm of al-fijri is a visual composite that portrays the flow and movement during a composition of a song under the al-fijri genre of “bahri”, a genre which utilizes a mixture of mirwas, jahlah, tabl, claps, and most importantly the nahaam. Capturing these moments through the photographic technique of long exposure created a painting like scene that relays a theme often felt during a composition of “bahri” song, a theme of longing and loneliness as the pearl divers spend their days out at sea in search of precious pearls.