Fès. The Spirit of Fès. Festival des Musiques Sacrées du Monde

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The Spirit of Fès. Festival des Musiques Sacrées du Monde, 2004
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The Art of transmitting

A new world is being born before our eyes without our being able to grasp its meaning or its contours. The speed of this change has taken our ability to reflect by surprise. However, we cannot avoid asking ourselves about this emerging world and which we will pass on to future generations.
What essential lessons, what messages or values are we going to transmit? What have we ourselves learned from past generations who have helped us to live, to grow and to improve as individuals or communities?
It is this art of transmission which is the foundation of cultures and civilizations. It is an art in the sense that it is not limited to transmitting established models, but rather imbues those who receive it with a taste for a true experience of innovation and of liberty.
What role can this "art of transmission" play in front of certain forms of globalization which are often perceived of as the very process of its negation?
With the certain of a space where spirit, art and thought converge, the Festival and the Rencontres de Fes Colloquium open onto new perspectives.
they can also offer new perceptions of tomorrow's world.

Dr Faouzi SKALI
Director General

Songs of Intimacy

One of the primary meanings of the word "tradition" is transmission, from the latin "tradere." Tradition, the traditions, transmit the values of forms, of codes but also, and perhaps above all, of a spirit, something of the Spirit.

For nine seasons now, within the Fez festival of World Sacred, the traditions of the world speak to each of us, touch hearts and souls beyond languages, cultures and religions.

This year, the artistic programming includes a remarkable set of new elements: the first introduction to the sacred dances of India with madhavi Mugal and the Orissi tradition, a concert of the greatest African master of Senegalese drums, Doudou N'Diaye Rose, the first appearance of Brazil, represented by its recent minister of culture, the popular Gilberto Gil, a vision of Tibet with the celestial Yungchen Lhamo and of the American Indian culture of North America with the Ulali trio. So many traditions and cultures that the festival is welcoming for the first time, traditions and cultures which will transmit their flavors and their meanings.

In certain oriental languages, heart and spirit are synonyms, indicating that at the affective center, the spiritual is present.

Music of the spirit, music of the heart, sacred music is also there to rebind us with this ancient link which goes through the heart of our intimacy, introducing into the festival, year after year, this historical and global dimension, in these times of urgency, when peoples and cultures need to listen and learn from one another.

Gerard Kurdjian
Artistic Director

Sheikh Habboush
the Whirling Derviches with the Al Kindi Ensemble (Syria)
Music and Ritual of the Syrian Sufi Brotherhood

Sheikh habboush was born in 1959 in Aleppo, one of Syria's most important musical centers. He has recently collaborated with the composer and director of the Al Kindi Ensemble, Julien jallaleddine Weiss.
Coming from a music-loving family of great religious faith, Sheikh Habboush has been singing since the age of three and has studies with the Master Abdel Kader hadjar, he became a professional mounshid, a singer specialized in religious singing, at the age of twenty.
A member of a sufi tariqa or brotherhood, Sheikh Habboush is both a mounshid and spirtual master having succeeded his father's position as head of a familial zawiya. A rare fact which deserves mentioning, is that he has been able to develop his art of singing perhaps more than his theological inclination. His zawiya is located in old Aleppo, in the ironworkers quarters, and has remained an authentic spiritual location where once a week Sheikh habboush, revives his adepts as tradesmen and artisans from the suq, for the dhikr sessions, which are recitations of the names of God, and for sama'a, sessions of songs and mystical recitation.
this musical project was born within the context of this unique atmosphere with julien jallaleddine Weiss and Al Kindi Ensemble. The hope for this gathering is to transport the sama'a to fez so that Festival audience can experience the ceremony just as it takes place in the zawiya of Sheikh Habboush in Aleppo each week. It is striking in its simplicity, directness, and intensity while it is rich in collective emotion and religious sincerity. The structure of the evening will consist of a suite of prayers, of religious poems (qasidas), of dhikr, with musical improvisations (taqsims), with the Whirling Dervishes responding with their rhythmic turning.
Sheikh Habboush is accompanied by the refined music of the Al Kindi Ensemble and J.J.Weiss offer us an opportunity to witness the coming together of two unique elements -the sung texts of the great Sufi masters and the rhythms of beautiful music. Together they produce a powerful, engaging session.

Farida and the Maqam Ensemble
Spiritual Songs from Baghdad (Iraq)

Throughout the Islamic world, the refined maqam tradition, which comprises a set of complex rules for compositions, has maintained a special place. The opening and final notes of a composition, as well as other prominent notes, are determined by the maqam. The maqam also governs overall melodic flow, the choice of specific characteristic phrases, and modulations to other, related modes.

A singer of maqams undergoes rigorous training over many years to master the maqam. In performance, he or she is generally accompanied by a chamber orchestra (takht). The structure of the music follows the principal development of the composition called mayanaat where, the singer and musicians respond to one another in an expressive systematic exploration of modes and sentiments. The section is concluded with the taslim, a descending melody, accompanied by a poem, that finishes on the final note of the maqam.

An important center of the art of the maqam was in the west in medieval Andalusia, and after the fall of Grenada, the maghreb, where numerous Muslim and Jewish musicians found refuge. The other is Iraq. farida and the Maqam Ensemble of Baghdad represent Iraq's great maqam tradition. Since the 8th century, Iraq and its capital Baghdad, have been one of the major centers of refined Arab music to the point that the Abbasid Galiph Al Wathiq (832-847), who transformed his palace into a veritable music conservatory, was himself considered a musician. the Iraqi maqam or the maqam of baghdad is based on the musical interpretation of a classical or mythical poetry, in either classical or dialectical Arabic and developed according to a structure in which an instrumental prelude is played, followed by an overture or tahrir, carrying vocal improvisations on passages of poetic text.

One distinguishing feature of the iraqi maqam, in comparison to other Arab and Middle eastern music, is that it utilizes more minor maqams than the better known major ones, such as nahawand, Saba, nawa, Bayat and Hijaz. Iraqi maqam is more challenging to perform than that of other Arab and Middle eastern songs/music because of the complexity of the musical structure. There are more than fifty-five maqams in Iraq and, no maqam singer, or qari, masters more than one. In the tradition of baghdad, the takht/orchestra is generally composed of the following instruments: djoze, a kind of viola with a bow, the string instrument santur, and percussion instruments such as tabla, riqq and naqara.

The maqam Ensemble is a prominent group, founded in 1989, and is directed by Mohamed Gomar, who is a master of the djoza, Mohamed was born in Diyala in Northern Iraq and graduated from the Institute of Music in baghdad. The artists of the group are graduates from the Academy of Arts of the University of Baghdad.
the group is committed to continuing the heritage of the late, great oud/lute master musician Munir bashir, who formed the Ensemble in 1973.

Singer farida Mohamad, born in Kerbela, Iraq - an important center of shiism has established a reputation throughout the Arab world for her brilliant performances of the classical maqam. her powerful voice and extensive training under the most revered maestros like munir Bashir have enabled her to perform classical Iraqi maqam with all the major musicians. She has performed and toured extensively throughout the Arab world. in Europe and the United States. In Fez, she is accompanied by five musicians who, together weave an enchanting form of spiritual music that is intended to delight the soul.

Each spring the ancient city of Fez, Morocco, plays host to one of the world's great musical events, a one-of-a-kind festival that brings together performers from all over the globe in a unique musical celebration of the divine. On this 2 CD set, some of the festival's finest artists perform a wide-ranging program includes Islamic devotionals, Sufi ritual songs, Berber trance music, Arab-Andalusian rhythms, Bulgarian orthodox choir, Hindustani chants, Celtic sacred music, Christian Gospel, Swedish chamber choir, and more. Artists include Gilberto Gil (Brazil), Yungchen Lhamo (Tibet), Master Musicians of Armenia (Armenia), Madhavi Mudghal (India), The Roudaniyates (Morocco), The Anointed Jackson Sisters (USA), Illyas Mallev Ensemble (Uzbekistan), Sheikh Habboush & Al Kindi (Syria), Doudou N'Diaye Rose (Senegal), Ulali (USA), Farida & the Maqam Ensemble (Iraq).
CD 1
01. Gilberto Gil - Guerra Santa [3.47]
02. Yungchen Lhamo - (Untitled) [3.29]
03. Yungchen Lhamo - (Untitled) [4.55]
04. Maitres de Musique d'Arménie - Nanni Balam [3.15]
05. Maitres de Musique d'Arménie - Bari Yerker [4.32]
06. Maitres de Musique d'Arménie - Havoun [4.48]
07. Madhavi Mudgal - Danse Odissi [7.42]
08. Hadra des Femmes de Taroudant - (Untitled) [2.19]
09. Hadra des Femmes de Taroudant - (Untitled) [3.06]
10. Hadra des Femmes de Taroudant - (Untitled) [4.26]
11. The Anointed Jackson Sisters - (Untitled) [8.11]

CD 2
01. Illyas Mallaev - (Untitled) [3.57]
02. Illyas Mallaev - (Untitled) [3.38]
03. Sheikh Habboush et l'Ensemble Al Kindi - (Untitled) [13.48]
04. Doudou N'Diaye Rose - Rythmes Bai Fall [9.57]
05. Ulali - Mahk Jchi [2.46]
06. Ulali - Rattle Song, Hawheheemo [1.47]
07. Ulali - Power Of The Hardin-Bratt [3.01]
08. Farida et Ensemble Maqam - (Untitled) [6.18]
09. Farida et Ensemble Maqam - (Untitled) [10.59]

320 kbps including full scans

Part 1 | Part 2