Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fez Festival of Sufi Culture: the final day


Faouzi Skali and Leila Anvar chatting before the concert

Leili Anvar and Renaud Garcia Fons provided an afternoon concert on the final day of the Sufi Festival.

Leili Anvar and Renaud Garcia Fons

Under a threatening sky, Anvar, who is an expert in Persian studies in Paris, recited poems written by women from the 7th to the 20th century. She was accompanied by Renaud Garcia Fons on double bass in a premiere of a work composed by him.

Garcia Fons' work began with a traditional "taqsim" - a melodic improvisation style which usually precedes a composition - with an interesting technique of bouncing the bow on the strings of the bass (known as 'striking'), producing a sound very much like the plucked strings of an oud, albeit of a deeper register. It was an extraordinary introduction.

The poems were beautifully read by Leili Anvar in French.

In the audience Nezha Lyadini and Gerard Chemit


Another premiere for this evening's final concert - and a first for Morocco where male and female voices joined members of the Fez Orchestra for a melange of Melhoun music and Samaa. Melhoun is known as the music of the artisanal brotherhoods - the music of the people, while Samaa is largely classical Arabic music.

The mixture worked - it was a lively concert much appreciated by a very large crowd in the Jnan Palace Hotel, and a fitting end to a most successful Festival. The orchestra comprised violins, a kanoun, oud, daf, drums and a ney flute.

While most of the audience were Moroccans, there were some visitors, too, including author and photographer Gunther Komnick and his wife Lila (pictured above) of the Iziko Museums, Cape Town.

The View from Fez will feature a complete wrap-up of the Sufi Festival tomorrow.
To see all our stories on the Sufi Festival CLICK HERE

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