In the same vein as the projects El Hâl or with the Hmadcha, A.r.B.f. & Warshane has produced a work which blends Maghrebian traditional music and free jazz.
It has long been accepted by a large majority of us that jazz, and by extension free jazz, is fashioned from and draws inspiration from sources of African traditions (among others). Morocco was the grounds through which African slaves bound for the New World were transited. Always having been a multiracial mixing bowl at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, the Middle East as well as the Berber world, this land is rich in music and traditions.
Warshan is a band from Essaouira comprised mainly of members of the Brotherhood of Hmadcha which was formed for the specific purpose of working with A.r.b.F. to present traditional music in a new light.
Our second working residence in Essaouira during the summer of 2012 allowed us to tackle a new musical repertoire including Tkitika (festive music of Marrakech), Gnawa, Andalusian, Issawa and even some Rways music (the Berbers of the Souss region), as well as some original compositions.
The musicians who participated in this tour are : Abdelkader "Ben Brick" Ed-Dibi & Abdelmaleck Benhamou : Gheïta, Florent Dupuit : Ténor, Flûte, Piccolo, Jean-Michel Couchet : alto, Benoit Guenoun : Ténor, musette, gheïta, Jean-Brice Godet : Clarinettes, Maki Nakano : Alto, Nicolas Souchal : trompette, François Mellan : Tuba, Jean-Philippe Saulou : Guitare, Effets, Yoram Rosilio : Contrebasse, Hassan Nadhamou, Salah Saya, Moulay Driss El Idrissi, Abderrahmane Nemini, Ayoub Baz et Najem Belkedim : Chant, percussions.
Here are some excerpts from a live recording in Essaouira on July 26th 2012 in the Borj of the Bab Marrakech.
The "touchia" is an instrumental form of music found in Andalusian music, which is used as an opening or as a transition between movements.
The Dikr is a long poem sung, chanted or simply just recited which is found in all the different veins of Sufism, especially in Issawa, where the Brotherhood has a strong presence not only in Morocco but throughout the Maghreb.
Here is an example sung by Salah Saya.
Trük I (Thing I), this is a personal composition. We can hear Yann Pittard playing the oud.
You can also tcheck this video and few photos of this Moroccan Tour in July 2012.
Don't forget to watch this video of the fabulous Tkitika Group of Essaouira. We are now working with them : La Tkitika d'Essaouira.