Julien Weiss and Husayn Al-Azami in Baghdad
Al-Azamî et l'Ensemble
A passion for the Arabian Nights
A strange colouring, close to Persian Radif
The Iraki mâqâm is a style which is peculiar to
Irak, and inherited from the Court of the Abasside Califes,
of Baghdad (9th Century), one of whom was the universally famous
Haroun Al-Rachid, a central character in the Arabian Nights.
descends from a complex Arab tradition blending a number of
influences : Turkish, Persian, Kurd, and even Indian. Each mode,
each sigh, has its coloring and mood, calling on synaesthesia,
magic and faith, in a charismatic and apocalyptic framework.
The harmony thus obtained is called insiâm and can only
be reached in a state of internal mystical exaltation.
The artists call this form al-mâqâm al-iraqi
(modale composition of Irak) which is also played at festivals
and private concerts. There is no clear separation of profane
and sacred in this melody mode and it can be found in most religious
music of Mesopotamia.
traditional ensemble (Tshalghi Baghdadi) is made up of
a santûr (zither, strings are struck) or a qânûn
(zither, strings are plucked), a jôza (rebec or
spike fiddle), a clay drum (tabla) or kettle drum (naqarât)
and a tambourine with cymbals (duff zinjârî).
music is also generally characterised by the tragic modulation
of the vocal parts, high-pitched voices, strictly coded sobbings,
intervals, rhythms, specific instruments, a poetic repertory
in classical, median and dialectical Arab, distinct from the
legendary Arab-Andalusian heritage.
J.J. Weiss met Munîr Bashîr in 1976, this was the beginning
of a series of exchanges with a number of Irakian musicians. J.J Weiss
has been invited many times to the Babylon Festival. During the time
spent in Baghdad, he was able to study with the zitherist Sâlim
Husayn and accompanied the singer Husayn Ismaïl Al-Azami . Together
they recorded in 1994 at the famous hotel al-Rashid in Baghdad a CD
"Passion of the Arabian Nights".
Julien Jalal Eddine
Weiss - Arabic zither (Qânun), artistic direction
Ali Al-Imam - Lute (luth)
Rafour Sana - Reed
Gomar - Fiddle (Joza)
Abdoul Had Jarjis - tabla
Adel Shams El Din