La Hadra Chefchaounia is an all female ensemble, and therefore a rare treat and an important addition for the Sufi Nights series. Although there are many women’s ensembles in Morocco, especially in the North, it is still not very common for women’s Sufi ensembles to play staged concerts. Phil Murphy reports.
|Lala Rhoum al-Bakkali|
Lala Rhoum El Bakkali is a descendant of Sidi Ali Hajj Bakkali who founded the zawiya (Sufi lodge) Bakkali of Chefchaoun. She is a professor of music and teaches solfege, piano and Arab-Andalusian music, in addition to acting as the leader and musical director for La Hadra Chefchaounia.
Tonight’s performance consisted of Sufi poetry, written by al-Harraq, Sheikh Sidi Ali Ben Raysoun, and Sidi Ali Hajj Bakkali, set to music. The melodies and rhythms used come from the Northern Moroccan Andalusian tradition of Chefchaoun.
The women in this group made the performance seem effortless, as they alternated between simple and complex rhythms played on hand drums and, at the same time, sang beautiful melodies informed by Andalusian melodic modes. Lala Rhoum and a few of the other women sang wonderful solo sections, however the most impressive aspect of the performance was the way that all of the voices blended together to create an ethereal and beautiful sound.
The ambiance tonight was much more relaxed than last night’s crowd for the `Isawa. There was a large turnout, but visitors and locals were able to lounge comfortably in the garden and listen to the beautiful vocals floating overhead.
Story and photographs: Phil Murphy
Tonight Saturday 16 June at 23h00 Dar Tazi
The final Sufi Night with the Wazzaniya Brotherhood
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