Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hamadcha and Malhoun music in Fes.

Carrying in the incense

Tonight music was at the heart of Fez as the Club Khamis Tourat hosted a concert of two different types of music - Hamadcha and Malhoun. The occasion was the 55th musical concert put on by the club over many years. They are to be congratulated on their contribution to preserving the popular traditional music of Fez.

The Salle des Fetes - Bahja

The Hamadcha are one of the three most important so-called ‘popular’ Sufi brotherhoods in Morocco. The Hamadcha brotherhood was founded by Saint Sidi Ali Ben Hamdouch in the seventeenth century and has become famous through the originality of its repertoire, its spellbinding dances, and the trance-therapy skills of its members.

Abderrahim Amrani Marrakchi

In tonight's performance, the Hamadcha were lead by their charismatic mqaddem, Abderrahim Amrani Marrakchi who never fails to amaze with his energy and devotion to his beloved musical form. The brotherhood was the same superb collection of musicians who have been around for some years now. In fact there was only one new face in the brotherhood.

Frédéric Calmès (seated)

Frédéric Calmès was also performing with the group and his gimbri playing, which has matured over the years, was in fine form. His singing, too, was appreciated by the capacity crowd.

The "Grand Orchestra du Melhoun de Fes" have gained so much class in the last few years and must have few rivals for excellence. Fouad Amri, Mohammed Soussi and M'hamed El Hadri were in fine form. The improvised "taqsim-style" introductions were lyrical and breathtaking. The only jarring note was the use of an electronic drum machine which, given the overall strength of the music seemed unnecessary.

The crowd was a local one, but definitely the "A" list and it was a pleasure to see them entranced by music that is in the hearts of every Fassi. A truly enjoyable evening.

No comments: