Live at the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music

Date of release: 1 Oct, 2019

Album Cover

Tracklist + Liner Notes

  1. Taqsīm (Maqām Nahāwand) [Live]

    DESCRIPTION
    Live from the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music this year, this exquisite kanun solo piece, ‘Taqsim’, takes the most subtle longings of the soul and turns them into sound. Ethereal and and intensely beautiful, this evocative instrumental is masterfully performed by Onur Cicin in maqam Nahawand with allusions to Bayati.

    CREDITS

    FOH & Recording Engineer: Sachin Savio
    Monitor Engineer: Diego Biagioni

    Mixed & Mastered by Vishnu Rajan @ Andante Studios
    Video Editing & Postproduction by Omar Al-Balushi @ Andante Studios

    PERFORMERS (From right to left):

    Seyyed Mohammad Jaberi: daf, bendir & vocals
    Ömer Avci: bendir, tef, kudum & vocals
    Onur Cicin: qanun
    Sezgin Yaman: oud
    Emre Kayacan: kemanche
    Hasan Kirkisoglu: ney
    Mahyar Toreihi: santoor
    Hüseyin Can Pala: bağlama

    AND

    Sami Yusuf

    Special thanks to Ismail Boujia & his group for joining as guest vocalists (From right to left):

    Mostafa El Lachkar
    Ismail Boujia
    Elouafi Mohammed
    Hamza Idrissi
    Mohammed El Alami
    Abderrazak Idrissi

  2. The Key (Lamma Bada Yatathanna) [Live]

    DESCRIPTION
    Recorded live at the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music in June 2019, Sami Yusuf’s latest single ‘The Key’ is based on a famous centuries-old Andalusian folk song. This musically rich piece is beautifully performed here by world class musicians accompanying Sami Yusuf’s signature vocals. New English lyrics along with the original Arabic poem weave together seamlessly to create a stunning sound that is peaceful, exotic and centering.

    CREDITS

    FOH & Recording Engineer: Sachin Savio
    Monitor Engineer: Diego Biagioni

    Mixed & Mastered by Vishnu Rajan @ Andante Studios
    Video Editing & Postproduction by Omar Al-Balushi @ Andante Studios

    PERFORMERS (From right to left):

    Seyyed Mohammad Jaberi: daf, bendir & vocals
    Ömer Avci: bendir, tef, kudum & vocals
    Onur Cicin: qanun
    Sezgin Yaman: oud
    Emre Kayacan: kemanche
    Hasan Kirkisoglu: ney
    Mahyar Toreihi: santoor
    Hüseyin Can Pala: bağlama

    AND

    Sami Yusuf

    Special thanks to Ismail Boujia & his group for joining as guest vocalists (From right to left):

    Mostafa El Lachkar
    Ismail Boujia
    Elouafi Mohammed
    Hamza Idrissi
    Mohammed El Alami
    Abderrazak Idrissi

  3. Hamziyya [Live]

    DESCRIPTION

    ‘Hamziyya’ is a multi-layered piece that brings together music inspired by an Algerian mystical chant with a melody suggestive of the English folk tradition. In the interweaving of these musical expressions the listener can hear how traditional music is always in harmony, never dissonant. ‘Hamziyya’ was initially released on Sami Yusuf’s album Barakah, but this is a completely new arrangement with a never-before-heard Taqsīm composition in the Intro.

    The Intro was performed for the first time at the 2019 Fes Festival of Sacred Music. In it each solo instrument explores a unique maqam or musical mode: Sīkah (qanun), Bayāti (bağlama), Rāst (ney), Hījāz (oud), and eventually returning to Rāst. Each of these modes is known to have a distinct emotional effect on the listener. Here the transitions from one mode to another are arranged to evoke various stages of an inner journey.

    The lyrics come from portions of the thousand-verse Hamziyya (poem rhyming in hamza) by the renowned Palestinian scholar Yusuf Nabhani (d. 1932). Because it describes the Prophet’s life and character, it’s frequently recited during Mawlid celebrations of the Prophet’s (pbuh) birthday.

    CREDITS

    Music Composed and Arranged by Sami Yusuf
    (Refrain based on a mystical Algerian chant)
    Words by Yusuf Nabhani

    English translation by T J Winter
    Additional translation by Yousef Casewit and Saad Ansari

    FOH & Recording Engineer: Sachin Savio
    Monitor Engineer: Diego Biagioni

    Mixed & Mastered by Vishnu Rajan @ Andante Studios
    Video Editing & Postproduction by Omar Al-Balushi @ Andante Studios

    PERFORMERS (From right to left):

    Seyyed Mohammad Jaberi: daf, bendir & vocals
    Ömer Avci: bendir, tef, kudum & vocals
    Onur Cicin: qanun
    Sezgin Yaman: oud
    Emre Kayacan: kemanche
    Hasan Kirkisoglu: ney
    Mahyar Toreihi: santoor
    Hüseyin Can Pala: bağlama

    AND

    Sami Yusuf

    Special thanks to Ismail Boujia & his group for joining as guest vocalists (From right to left):

    Mostafa El Lachkar
    Ismail Boujia
    Elouafi Mohammed
    Hamza Idrissi
    Mohammed El Alami
    Abderrazak Idrissi

  4. Taha [Live]

    Ṣalla l-Lāhu ‘alā Ṭāhā
    Khayri l-khalqi wa-’aḥlāhā
    God’s blessings be upon Taha,
    Best of creation and the sweetest

    Khayru l-khalqi huwa l-hādī
    Nūru l-kawni bihi bādī
    Best of [God’s] creation, he’s the guide
    The light of existence shines through him

    ‘Amma n-nāsa bi-’irshādi
    ’Azka l-khalqi wa-’arḍāhā
    He encompassed all mankind with his guidance
    Purest of creation and the most pleasing

    Nūru l-Lāhi l-mutaqaddim
    Qabla l-khalqi l-muta‘allim
    The first light of God
    He was taught before all other creation

    Badru n-nūri l-mutalaththim
    Hādi l-khalqi li-Mawlāhā
    The veiled light of the full moon
    Guiding creation to its Lord

    Ba‘da s-sidrati qad sārā
    Wa-ra’a l-ḥaqqa wa-’anwārah
    Beyond the Sidra* he walked
    And saw The Truth and His Lights

    Waqafa r-ruḥu wa-ma sārā
    Idhhab waḥdaka yā Ṭāhā
    The Spirit (Jibra’il) stopped and did not continue
    [saying] go on alone Taha

    Irża l-Lāha bi-l-ālāf
    ‘an ’ahli l-bayti l-’ashrāf
    May God be pleased with his intimates
    from his noble family

    Wa-l-’aṣhābi ’ūli-l-’insāf
    Nālu l-khulda wa-suknāhā
    And his companions, the people of justice
    Who gained eternity and its dwelling

    Malīḥun lawnuhū**
    Kahīlun ṭarfuhū
    Jamīlun na‘tuhū
    Ṣalla l-Lāhu ‘alā Ṭāhā
    Of fine complexion
    His eyes, dark and wide
    Of beautiful face
    The guide, with whom God is satisfied

    Qamarīyun wajhuhū
    Bahīyun shakluhū
    ‘Aẓīmun khuluquhū
    Ṣalla l-Lāhu ‘alā Ṭāhā
    His face is like the moon
    His form is resplendent
    His character is mighty
    Taha, the chosen one

    Rahīmun qalbuhū
    Ṣadūqun wa‘duhū
    ‘Amīmun jūduhū
    Māḥin muntaqā
    His heart is kind,
    His promises are kept
    His generosity is vast
    The effacer (of sins), the chosen one

    Ṣalātu Rabbī
    Ma‘a s-salāmi
    ‘Alā Muhammad
    Zaynu l-’asāmī
    The blessings of my Lord
    And His peace
    Upon Muhammad
    The most beautiful of names

    Maqām: Bayātī
    Commentary: “Ṣalla l-Lāhu ‘alā Ṭāhā” was written by the Sudanese/Egyptian Shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari (d. 1979) who taught and lived at the famous al-Azhar University in Cairo and was also the Imam of the al-Azhar mosque. He was a Sufi shaykh in the lineage of Ahmad ibn Idris of Fez (d. 1837) and a prolific author of works on the Qur’an, Hadith, Islamic law and Sufism. He also wrote a celebrated collection of poetry, from which this song is taken. The end section incorporates the blessed names of the Prophet (pbuh) taken from the Diwan of the famous Moroccan Sufi saint Imam Mohammed Al-Jazuli’s (d. 1465), Dala’il al-Khayrat.
    *The Sidra is a reference to the “Lote tree of the furthest boundary” (sidrat al-muntahā) mentioned in the Qur’an (53:14) and described by the Prophet on his night journey to heaven (mi’rāj). The sidra marks the outer boundaries that separate the created world (‘ālam al-khalq) from the spiritual world of the divine command (‘ālam al-amr).
    **This section is an original composition with words provided by Mohammed Ali El Oumari and Abdel Ilah Ikhal. The inspiration behind the melody comes from an old Kurdish folk song heard by Sami Yusuf when he was a child.

    Words by Shaykh Salih al-Ja’fari
    Music: Traditional Islamic (unknown provenance)
    Performed and arranged by Sami Yusuf
    Recorded at Andante Studios

  5. Ya Rasul Allah, Pt. 2

    Ṣallū ‘alayhi shafī’ l-’ummah
    Send salutations upon him, the intercessor of the Muslim nation

    Bi dhikri r-Rasūl tushḥadhu l-himmah
    By mentioning the messenger we sharpen our zeal

    Yā Rabbi bi-jāhin Nabī ’azihi l-ghummah
    O God, for the sake of the prophet, clear the adversity

    Ṣallū ‘ala l-Hādi l-Bashīr*
    Send salutations upon The Guide and Bearer of good tidings

    Ḥabībī l-Badri l-Munīr
    My beloved the luminous full moon

    Shafī’ī ‘inda l-Qadīr
    My intercessor with the All-Powerful

    Ṣallū ‘alayhi
    Send salutations upon him!

    Ṣallū bi-’aḥla l-kalām
    Send salutations upon him with the sweetest of words!

    Ṣallū ‘ala l-badri t-tamām
    Salutations upon him, the full-moon

    Rasūlī, khayri l-’anām
    My messenger, the best of mankind!

    CREDITS

    Words by Dr. Imed Nsiri
    Music: Traditional
    Additional Composition and Arrangement by Sami Yusuf

    FOH & Recording Engineer: Sachin Savio
    Monitor Engineer: Diego Biagioni

    Mixed & Mastered by Vishnu Rajan @ Andante Studios
    Video Editing & Postproduction by Omar Al-Balushi @ Andante Studios

    PERFORMERS (From right to left):

    Seyyed Mohammad Jaberi: daf, bendir & vocals
    Ömer Avci: bendir, tef, kudum & vocals
    Onur Cicin: qanun
    Sezgin Yaman: oud
    Emre Kayacan: kemanche
    Hasan Kirkisoglu: ney
    Mahyar Toreihi: santoor
    Hüseyin Can Pala: bağlama

    AND

    Sami Yusuf

    Special thanks to Ismail Boujia & his group for joining as guest vocalists (From right to left):

    Mostafa El Lachkar
    Ismail Boujia
    Elouafi Mohammed
    Hamza Idrissi
    Mohammed El Alami
    Abderrazak Idrissi

  6. Track 06
  7. Track 07
  8. Track 08
  9. Track 09
  10. Track 10
  11. Track 11

Album Description

Sami Yusuf’s ‘Live at the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music’ is an album of new compositions and unique arrangements by the celebrated musician. Recorded at the 2019 Festival, ‘Live at the Fes Festival’ is a celebration of sacred music inspired by a rich legacy of mystical poems, rhythms, and melodies that span centuries. Here Sami Yusuf is accompanied in these new works by master musicians from around the world performing on traditional instruments, and is joined by the renowned Moroccan singer Ismail Boujiya and his group.

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