Posts Tagged ‘Taqasim’

Hamza Shakkur & Ensemble Al-Kindi - 1994 - Takasim & Sufi Chants

The Al-Kindî Ensemble,
Founded in 1983 by the French virtuoso of Arab zither (qânûn, or kanoun)) Julien Jâlal Eddine Weiss, resides in Aleppo, the capital of northern Syria and a stopping place on the Famous Silk Road. Al-Kindi is currently rated among the best formations devoted to classical Arab music, owing to the musical qualities displayed by its performers, and to the high standard of its work, steeped in the various musical traditions of the Near and Middle East.

The work of Mr Weiss has infused new blood into classical Arab music, and his faithful audience of connoisseurs is deeply appreciative of the encouragement and freedom given to the intuitive genius of the great soloist performers who compose the Ensemble: the Aleppo lute player Mohamed Qadri Dalal, the Damas ney (flute) player Ziad Kadi Amin, the Egyptian percussionist Adel Shams el-Din, and the Iraqi joza player Mohamed Gomar Al-Bawi. The qânun player and artistic director is Julien Jalal Eddine Weiss.

Along with singers from Syria and Iraq who are held in the highest esteem, this ensemble presents various repertoires of classical Arab Profan and Sacred Chant, enabling us to rediscover the riches and refinement of th art of these age-old cultures.

Sheikh Hamza Shâkkûr,
If properly lived out, Islam is a religion that preaches a message of clemency and mercy, beauty and harmony. The spiritual power emanating from Sheikh Hamza Shakkûr’s songs draws us into the mystical tradition of Islam embodied in Sufism.

Born in Damascus in 1947, he is a muqri (Koran reader) and a munshid (hymnodist). He is the disciple of Saïd Farhat and Tawfiq al-Munajjid; his task is to assure the continuity of the repertory proper to the Mawlawiya order. He is the choir master of the Munshiddin of the Great Mosque in Damascus and serves at official religious ceremonies in Syria, where he is immensely popular. Sheikh Hamza is an impressivley large, charismatic figure. His bass voice with its richly rounded timbre has made him one of the foremost perfomers of Arab vocal music. His art is uncompromisingly sober and introverted, to the exclusion of all affectation. He develops his improvisations within the framework of a centuries-old modal art, where orison blends with dance, and prayer with art.

The Islam he represents, far from being fundamentalist, is that of mysticism and happiness in the Faith. Replying to his soaring, powerful invocations to God, the musicians of the Al-Kindi Ensemble alternate subtle flourishes and arabesques with refined preludes, whilst the dervishes whirl on stage following an immemorial devotional ritual.

This is how proceeds this splendid and spell-binding event, this truly spiritual concert, this session of Sama’ – spiritual listening – where the only distraction from our state of bliss is the rustling of the dervishes’robes.

TrackList:

  1. Tartîl Du Coran , Taqsîm Nây En Bayyâtî (04:16)
  2. Wasla En Sabâ (22:18)
  3. Wasla En Bayyâtî (23:23)
  4. Meditation (11:06)

Duration : 61:03| Bitarte : 320 kBit/s | Year : 1994 | Size :162 mb

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Hamza Shakkur & The Al Kindi Ensemble - Sufi Songs Of Damascus حمزة شكور ومجموعة الكندي – أغاني صوفية من دمشق

Hamza Shakkur was born in Damascus in 1944. At an early age he received a thorough training in Qur’anic recitation according to the Syrian tradition. His father was the muezzin at the local mosque who taught Shakkur the basics of spiritual recitation. At the age of ten, Shakkur assumed this role, thereby becoming his father’s successor.
Although he never learned to read music, he built up a repertoire comprising thousands of songs by learning lyrics and melodies by heart.
Among the mystics of the Sufi community he began studying the hymns of mystical love, a form of expression that is still highly respected in Arab society. Having studied the entire spiritual repertoire of Islam he was in much demand as a singer. He also made numerous recordings for the radio.
Later he became choirmaster of the Munshiddin (a group of individuals who recite the Qu’ran) at the Great Mosque of Damascus and performed at official religious ceremonies there, which made him immensely popular in Syria. The Great Mosque in Damascus is one of the most sacred sites in Islam.
Shakkur belonged to the traditional Damascus school of music. He felt a close bond with the Mevlevi Order, the community of “whirling dervishes”, and strove to preserve the continuity of their repertoire. This community is known for its whirling dance ritual, the epitome of Eastern mysticism. Dressed in wide swinging, bell-shaped white skirts and camel-coloured felt hats, they whirl to classical music and chanting.
In 1983 Shakkur and French musician Julien Weiss founded the Al Kindi ensemble, through which he succeeded in introducing this music to Europe and America.
The ensemble specialised in music from Arab-Andalusia and its repertoire covered both religious and secular themes. Its interpretations were heavily steeped in tradition. Weiss created an Arab musical ensemble with the Arab lute, oud, ney, kanun and a variety of rhythm instruments.
Shakkur selected songs with very diverse rhythms and melodies that impressively demonstrated his musical phrasing and improvisational talent. Particular emphasis was placed on preserving the unity of the sequence of songs and their musical mode as well as on playing songs in the traditional manner.
Sheikh Hamza Shakkur died in Damascus on 4 February 2009 at the age of 65.
The way in which Sheikh Hamza Shakkur could lull his listeners into a trance-like state by grace of his singing alone had to be seen to be believed. He possessed not only vocal talent, but also a powerful, sonorous and all-embracing voice capable of playing counterpart to an orchestra and filling an entire room.
His musical intuition was borne of a spiritual power that drew listeners into the mystical tradition of Sufism. His bass voice with its richly rounded timbre made him one of the most famous singers in the Arab world.

Al Kindi Ensemble مجموعة الكندي

TrackList:

  1. Al Salâm Al Râbi (07:57)
  2. Al Salâm Al Râbi (15:39)
    Taqsîm Huzâm/ Taqsîm Sîkâh/ Mawwâl Sîkâh
  3. Ghayrî Alä Sulwân Qâdir (07:40)
  4. Ghayrî Alä Sulwân Qâdir (23:31)
    Taqsîm Râst qânun/ Taqsîm Râst nây/ Layâlî Râst/ Ibtihâl Bayyâtî
  5. Chanting (Tartîl) Of The Qurân (05:53)

Duration : 60:37 | Bitarte : 160 kBit/s | Year : 1993 | Size :75 mb

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Marcel Khalifé - 2007–Taqasim مارسيل خليفة - تقاسيم

Before discussing the extraordinarily beautiful and uplifting music on Taqasim, a last minute, odds-on favourite for the best of 2006 lists, a little background on the oud, taqasim and oud player Marcel Khalife (you can hit fast forward if you know it).

Born in Lebanon in 1950 but now living in exile in Paris, Khalife’s work is shaped by both classical Arab court music, of which he is a master, and today’s Palestinian diaspora. In the 1970s, moved by the Palestinian refugee camps around Beirut, he became an eloquent supporter of the nationalist movement. Much of his work has since been inspired by the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Meanwhile, fundamentalist zealots have three times tried to have Khalife imprisoned on the charge of “degrading Islam” (for including a couplet from the Koran in one of his songs). There’s much more to his brave and principled story. In 2005 he was named a UNESCO Artist For Peace, but it’s no longer safe for him to live in his own country.

The oud, from which the European lute derives, is an eleven-stringed instrument with a Rubenesque, pear-shaped body. Crucially, the curves produce a richly resonant sound box. The oud’s fretless neck allows the player to use the slides and microtones also found in Indian sitar music. At the top end, it is pretty and filigreed; in its sturdy middle and bass registers, the beating heart of the instrument, it can be intensely driving and mesmeric.

There are raga connections too in taqasim, a complex, precisely detailed framework for improvisation. In a taqasim, a musician plays a series of improvisations, separated by moments of silence, on different aspects of an opening modal theme, to which he periodically returns.

Which brings us to Taqasim. There are three taqasims on the album, each lasting about twenty minutes, and each offering a musical cosmos to get lost in. Moods and colours evolve, but the underlying effect of the first is beatific, the second darker, and the third urgent and visceral. In each, the oud’s lyricism flows like a river. The improvisations are as architectural and expressive as those in elite Indian raga.

Whilst not ignoring the crystalline upper reaches of the oud, Khalife concentrates on the middle and bass registers, supported by Peter Herbert’s sonorous bass, in a stream of gorgeously melodic, melismatic improvisations. Sometimes the music sounds characteristically Middle Eastern, at others unexpected cross-cultural influences take hold. The oud, by turns, takes on the guise of a sitar, a Spanish guitar, a lute, a bouzouki, even a drum.

Taqasim is music of the most elevated, Sufic complexion, transporting and cleansing, delighting and reviving, and a hotline to something beyond words, something unmistakably higher.

Track Listing: Part One; Part Two; Part Three.

Personnel: Marcel Khalife: oud; Peter Herbert: double bass; Bachar Khalife: percussion.

http://www.marcelkhalife.com

TrackList:

  1. Part One (19:40)
  2. Part Two (20:34)
  3. Part Three (20:45)

Duration : 61:00 | Bitarte : 320 kBit/s  | Year : 2007 | Size : 143 mb

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