Crusades from the Oriental View Point
Homage to Osama Ibn al-Mounqidh
Omar Sarmini and the Ensemble Al-Kindi
to the Western medieval music, the Arab music changed
little in its form since the golden age of its civilization
which ranges between the XIth and XIIth century, in particular
it remained very monodic, and faithful to its oral tradition.
This is why in spite of the absence of musical notation,
it is paradoxically easier to restore the essence of a
so ancient music.
poets of XIth century are celebrated in this program, Ousama
Ibn Al-Mounqidh, Ibn Al-Qaysarani, both Syrians and Abou
Al-Mouzaffar Al-Abiouardi from Baghdad.
These three poets were also historians and chroniclers of their
time; Ousama is the most famous by far of them, and probably
the most attractive too. Nephew of a prince of Syria, he spent
part of his life in the fortress of Chayzar on the banks of
the Oronte river. He was born at the time of the first Crusade
and died a few months after the resumption of Jerusalem. His
life was devoted to the hunting, the war, the pray and the writing.
He is the author of Diwân, collection of poetry
as of an autobiographical work which he completed before his
death, about the age of 93.
Omar Sarmini and the Ensemble
Al-Kindî at the
" Crac - Knights Castle " (Syrie)
this ancient repertory, Julien Jâlal Eddine Weiss in his search of authenticity, accomplish finally the
ideal instrumental formation in his eyes, the one of the
traditional takht such as it existed in XVIIIth century.
With the instrumentalists virtuosos and usual members
of Al-Kindi ensemble, he integrates the Joza, vielle
with spade, with the Iraqi Master Mohammed Gomar.
This rubbed string instrument unfortunately disappeared
from the Syrian and Egyptian classical music since XIXth
century, driven out to be replaced by the Western violin
with its too enveloping sound.
Omar Sarmini with Al-Kindi ensemble interpret
several vocal and instrumental suite(Wasla) having as unit a particular Mâqâm (tone). Within each
one of these suites an instrumentalist interprets a taqsim (improvisation)
in order to plunge the audience as well as the singer in the
psychic state corresponding to Mâqâm then the ensemble
plays a rythmed instrumental prelude. The singer improvises
then on traditional poems (Qâsidâ monorym poems)
with an ancestral vocal technique always in use in the Aleppian
tradition, and which nourishes the intemporality of musical
esthetics and melisms of the hymn.
The random singing exercises are accompanied by one or more
instruments either without rhythmic support, or with a rhythmic
cycle and a repetitive melody line of trebble (ostinato).
Then the singer and the chorus-singers interpret the Muwashshaat and Qoudoud anonymous and very ancient (measured songs)
but necessarily somewhat anachronistic, which are used to represent
the sumptuous singing exercises of Omar Sarmini.
whose perfume is exalting seduced me,
Her body resembles a tender branch
Her diadem shines like the moon.
And if her eyes are blue, my mortal lance is too
Omar Sarmini - Singer
Eddine Weiss - Arabic zither (Qânun), artistic
Amin - Reed flute (Ney)
Dalal Luth - Lute (luth)
- Vielle with peak (Joza)
Adel Shams el-Din - Percussion (riqq)
Al-Khatib - Drum on framework (Douff)
Maher Moudalal, Qadri Daal - Choir (Munshiddin)