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2-5 days
Jazz, World Music
May 25, 2009

Format: Compact Disc



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One of 2009's outstanding ECM albums, a breathtaking project initiated by Jon Balke, with Amina Alaoui, Kheir Eddine M'Kachiche and Jon Hassell, of new music inspired by Arab-Andalusian traditions, a great melting together of styles and ideas.

Utterly magical music, trailing deep roots - creative, strongly melodic, and song-based - in which west meets east at many levels. The listener is at first struck by the power of Moroccan singer Amina Alaoui's voice, soaring above Norwegian pianist Jon Balke's remarkable compositions for baroque ensemble - with soloists drawn from jazz, scattered improvisational traditions, and the world of early music. Behind this remarkable musical integration is a web of philosophical, historical, and literary interconnections, as Balke and Alaoui set texts from Sufi poets, Christian mystics, troubadours and more and - inspired by the tolerant and creative spirit of medieval Al-Andalus - ponder what was lost to the bonfires of the Inquisition.

The powerful song texts are variously sung in Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese (CD booklet includes translations). Setting new standards in transcultural music, 'Siwan' shows what can be made today when artists of the most divergent background pool their energies. The Siwan group has already astounded audiences from Stavanger to Cairo with its live performances.

Personnel: Jon Balke (keyboards, conductor), Amina Alaoui (vocal), Jon Hassell (trumpet/electronics), Kheir Eddine M'Kachiche (solo violin), Helge Norbakken (percussion), Pedram Khavar Zamini (zarb), 12 Baroque Soloists led by Bjarte Eike and including Milos Valent (violin/viola)

Press Quotes

(4 stars) Beautiful melding of early European music with classical music and poetry...and touches of ambient jazz and electronica.

The Independent (Information), (Tim Cumming), June 13, 2009

(4 stars) Poignant fusion of classical Andalusian Arabic poetry and music with the European baroque...poetic songs of love, longing and separation.

Financial Times, (Mike Hobart), May 30, 2009

Incorporating elements from different disciplines into a pan-cultural blend...Eastern violin soars evocatively over elegiac strings and percussion.

The Independent, (Andy Gill), June 5, 2009

More Info

Key Value
Catalogue number 1780151
Barcode 0602517801516
Number of items 1
Packaging type Jewel Case
Imported No
Weight 100g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 142mm x 10mm x 125mm

Disc 1

Track Listing — Disc 1

Song Title Time
1. Tuchia -
2. Ya Andalucin -
3. Jadwa -
4. Ya safwa ti -
5. Ondas do mar de Vigo -
6. Itimad -
7. A la Dina -
8. Zahori -
9. Ayshyin Raquin -
10. Thulathyath -
11. Toda Sciencia Trancendiendo -