Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fuérame a Bañar - A mikveh song from Morocco

Here's Vanessa Paloma, Fella Oudane, Fettah Abbou, Romeo Guzman, and David Martinelli performing their concert "Masar Wa Nisae: The Woman's Path" as part of the World Festival for Sacred Music 2008 in Los Angeles at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre. The song, Fuérame a Bañar, a Sephardic Romance, is a "mikveh song from Morocco saying that grace cannot be sold, not even an ounce of it!"

Fuérame a Bañar

Here's the official description of the concert...
"Whether gathered in the interior courtyards of the houses in the Jewish quarter kneading the dough for Passover matzah, or in the Rif mountains, where Berber women gather the grains at harvest time, women accompany their quotidian tasks with song. They share the joys and sorrows of their lives in the richly varied traditional repertoire explored in this joint concert by Vanessa Paloma (voice, medieval harp) and Samira Kadiri(voice), accompanied by Nabil Akbib(violin, oud, percussion), David Martinelli (percussion) and Romeo Guzman (nay).
Paloma grew up in Colombia, tracing her Jewish roots to the Sephardic community of Spain generations earlier. Kadiri, a classically trained soprano, is a Moroccan Muslim. Together they reflect on the shared pleasures and pains of women’s lives, celebrating the sisterhood that emerges as voices gather in the diverse soundscape of the Maghreb region: Gharnati, Berber, Andalusian, Algerian, and Jaquetía (Moroccan Judeo-Spanish)—a gorgeous array of idioms, expressing everything from the pangs of romantic love to the ache of spiritual yearning."
You can learn more about Paloma and her band at the Florde Serena (Siren's Flower) website and catch more concert videos at her blog, Mystic Siren.

Cover art for 'Mystic Siren'In addition to being a fine musician, Paloma is also author of Mystic Siren: Woman's Voice in the Balance of Creation, an art book about "the power and importance of our expression and self-actualization through stories, fables, mystical teachings and modern midrash." It's available through Goan Books. Here's the official blurb...

"Mystic Siren is about women's spirituality, Jewish mysticism, and Sephardic music and cultural traditions. Paloma s explanations of the place of women in creation are critically important for both men and women in our times. It is a delightful read that ranges from fable to Kabbalistic meditations, and it is grounded in religious practice and study of the Torah. Mystic Siren is beautifully designed, and it is a unique artistic and scholarly collaboration between this talented mother and daughter team. Gloria Abella Ballen, the artist and designer, has won numerous international awards with recognition from UNESCO and the National Endowment for the Arts among others. Her work is in the collections of modern art museums in the United States, Mexico, and Colombia."

Finally, I can't resist including this wonderful video that Paloma filmed while visiting Tangiers, Morocco. According to Paloma, the video is of "Leon Azancot, a wonderful 80 year old Tangerine Jew (he should live to 120), [who] sang some piyyutim in Hebrew and explained them in Spanish at his insurance office over the Socco Grande (entrance to the souk) in Tangier, Morocco." You can read more about her trip at the Jewish Journal.

Moroccan Jewish sacred singing

Hat tip to Big Bit Productions for posting the "Fuérame a Bañar" video and to The Jewish Journal for posting the Tangiers video.

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