Indiana Jones Rocks Petra with an Arabian Classical Remix!
Three years ago we embarked on an insane archeological quest: To conquer all Seven Wonders of the World.
As Henry Jones (Sr) once said,
What began at The Great Wall of China continued on at the Christ Redeemer Statue in Brazil and the pyramids of Chichén Itzá in Mexico. And now we present the ancient, stoic “Rose City” carved in rock: Petra, Jordan!
Yes, this is a real place. Not just a figment of a set designer employed by Lucasfilm, LTD. We say real, but we should actually say “unreal.” Hard to believe a city half as old as time, carved out of sheer rock in the middle of the desert over 2,000 years ago still stands, whispering stories of its history through weather-worn stone artistry and intricate waterways.
Just to give you an idea of its scope, Petra is home to over 800 monuments, buildings, halls, tombs, temples, and gateways sculpted from kaleidoscope sandstone. Its access is guarded by a narrow, protracted 1,000 ft high (300 meter) canyon. The remote desert city thrived in its prime because of an intricate, ingenious aqueduct system that carried water over great distances to store in cisterns. Arab tradition believes that Petra was the site where Moses of the Old Testament struck the rock to draw forth water. Suffice it to say, this is a pretty special place.
Petra has also been the site of many Hollywood movies. The first that comes to mind? Maybe something to do with seeking the Holy Grail in a fedora hat and a whip sidearm?
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade launched Petra’s “Treasury” Tomb into stone celebrity status — casting it as the lost home of the Holy Grail. What a movie! And what a soundtrack! Thank you, Mr. John Williams! How could we choose any other theme to laud the epicness of Petra’s Wonder?
But the lively, adventuresome “Indy” theme needed a more Arabic flair in honor of this relic-city. As we often do, we turned to classical music for inspiration, motivation, and more compositional content.
In 1888, a Russian composer named Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov composed a landmark symphonic suite entitled, “Scheherazade,” based on a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales collected over many centuries. You’ve definitely heard of some of them — the tale of Aladdin and the Lamp, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and the Seven Voyages of Sinbad. The book is called “Arabian Nights,” and the storyteller in the book is the woman, Scheherazade. It is considered an international treasure among storybooks.