‘Western music' and 'arab music' are often considered as opposite terms. However, no clear geographic boundary can be discerned in the areas where these musical traditions have been formed. There is only one sea that causes ‘separation’: the Mediterranean Sea. That is our sea, mare nostrum; alBahr in Arabic.
For centuries this sea has played an important role in trade and in music. Since the ninth century music styles have been developing in areas around the Mediterranean Sea – e.g. Andalusia, the Balkans, Lebanon and the Maghreb - that are basically eclectic and crystallize into unique (vocal) music types. In the different music styles, we hear both Arabic and Western influences.
In alBahr - Mare Nostrum we focus on music types in which this eclecticism is clearly audible. We offer a counterbalance to the classic dualistic East-West contrast; a vision of a rich culture, formed around a fluid center.
Exotic music to indulge curious ears!
Cappella Amsterdam performs with Rima Khcheich, who is an expert in Arabic classical music and Amira Medunjanin, who is a famous interpreter of the Bosnian Sevdah. Ahmed el Maai is a talented musician from Morocco. He plays the kanun, ud and violin, and has his voice as a hidden treasure. The Iranian composer Aftab Darvishi is commissioned by Cappella Amsterdam to write a new work for choir and instrumental soloists, inspired by a poem about the longing for a once-heard voice among the stars.
New work (world premiere)
selection from Cantigas de Santa Maria by Alfonso X el Sabio
from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco and Tunisia
Amira Medunjanin, Rima Khcheich
on ud, kamancheh, duduk and harp
Annelies van der Vegt