Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fez Festival of Sufi Culture ~ Day Seven

Morning Session at Batha Museum

The round table discussion on Sufism and Philosophical Thought was well attended.

Samâa Night with the Moroccan Amateur Association of Andalusian Music

If the performance of Samāa at the Batha Museum was billed as being performed by an amateur group - then these were some spectacular amateurs! In fairness there were some stars among the "amateurs" - the gifted singer Marouane Hajji, for one. The music, the harmonies, and the soloists, were all of a remarkably high standard. 

The night was a perfect example of why samāa is so popular in Morocco. The crowd, the largest yet, were fighting for seats long before the concert began. By the time the concert started the crowd was packed in with standing room only around the entire venue. 

Marouane Hajji in fine voice

The group consisted of ten singers and ten instrumentalists and the crowd, with an obvious love and knowledge of the material, were enthusiastic in their applause of fine solo performances by both vocalists and instrumentalists.

By the end of the performance the crowd were on their feet applauding what was obviously the most popular concert so far.

A section of the large crowd at the Batha Museum

With the huge turn out for the concert, questions need to be asked about the number of people the venue can safely hold. It is always a difficult decision for any festival to limit the number of tickets to any one concert. In tonight's case, exit aisles were totally blocked by patrons moving chairs in order to get a better view. While wanting to see as much as possible is understandable, there are safety concerns with such a crush of people. The security guards again did good work in managing the audience, but there are always those who feel they deserve a front row seat - even if they come late. It makes for unpleasant confrontations for security personel and other audience members.

Local photographer Omar Chennafi - bemused by the size of the audience
Text and photographs: Sandy McCutcheon

Saturday's programme:
10 am Batha Museum: "The Kingdom of the Saints" - preserving the heritage.
4 pm   Batha Museum:  Sufism Today.
8.30 pm Hotel Jnan Palace:  Samāa from around the world -  Majmouat Adhakirine (Morocco) Tariqa Khalwatiyya (Turkey) and Tariqa Rifaiyya (Palestine)
See our full Sufi Festival coverage

Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven
Final Night 

Print Friendly and PDF

No comments: