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Ancient Sufi Invocations And Forgotten Songs From Aleppo


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Product Description

Product Description

“As one of the earth's oldest continuous urban cities gets erased from the cultural memory of the volatile Levant in the present time (2012-1013), these recordings, captured just before the continuous demolition of Aleppo, are an ominous statement from one of its most sacred and ancient vocal traditions." (Hisham Mayet-Sublime Frequencies). Ancient Sufi Invocations and Forgotten Songs from Aleppo is a beautiful album of sacred chanting and haunting melodies-a collection of ULTRA rare SUFI recordings captured in SYRIA months before civil war erupted. It was recorded by Jason Hamacher in the courtyard of a 500-year-old-house in Aleppo, one of the world's oldest cities. In 2009 in Aleppo, Syria, A small group of Sufi musicians band together to preserve the nearly forgotten melodies, songs, and poems unique to the ancient city. In 2010 Jason Hamacher was in Aleppo to document the ancient prayers, hallowed rituals, and sacred spaces of Syria's religious minorities. Hamacher heard about a secretive group of Sufi musicians that practiced “the old traditions.” Intrigued by the mysterious description, Hamacher sought an introduction to the group through a mutual friend & became the first Westerner to hear NAWA preform. NAWA performed in public a handful of times before Syria erupted into civil war. The group’s displaced members are now scattered throughout Europe and the Middle East. 12” Vinyl Record + download card & bonus material (180-gram black vinyl w/ full color labels & metallic gatefold jacket).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On The Eve of Destruction: Aleppo's Traditional Music 9 July 2014
By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Now much in ruin with its citizens dispersed, a victim of a brutal civil war, Aleppo is the ancient cultural core of Syria. On the eve of armed conflict, ethnomusicologist Jason Hamacher recorded the nine-member traditional choral group Nawa in Sufi songs and poetic muwashshah. The sound is intimate and profound. I own several other recordings from Aleppo, mainly from Institut du Monde Arabe, and this is the most emotional and moving. Alas, the album lasts merely 29 minutes. The leading track is a section of the Sufi rite, the dhikr with the mantra repetition of "Allah". This is followed by a poem sung in rare maqam (mode) rakb and naqsh rhythm. Two more examples of dhikr ensue with two more brief muwashahah, this time in maqam husseini and jafta meter and maqam dugah and rhythm chambar halabi. Hamacher has recorded in Syria the music of Armenian, Syriac, and Assyrian Christians, who with Sufis are again at risk in these troubled times. Such recordings take on greater importance in documenting and preserving traditions. Indeed, Hamacher had gone to Aleppo to assist studies of ancient Jewish synagogues and sites but was thwarted. Members of Nawa are in exile.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is hauntingly beautiful and I could weep thinking it could be lost ... 2 July 2014
By Cindy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is hauntingly beautiful and I could weep thinking it could be lost forever now that these men are dispersed who knows where. You do not have to be Muslim to appreciate the artistry and love of what they have done. Thank you Jason Hamacher for creating and preserving this for us. I am an American of Syrian decent, a Christian and this is dear to me.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NAWA: deep listening, high station! 15 Oct. 2014
By Outis Palmer - Published on Amazon.com
There is much beauty here. I sense, in the devotion, a sort of grief, especially in Fasel al Jalel.
My favorite tracks are the tracks with oud- the muwasshat, because they use repetition in a different way-
going back to each theme. In those songsI don't feel the sense of upcoming destruction.
This is real music, and it may be truly lost again. Many disappeared in the upheaval in Syria,
and some,like Shaykh Habbush, have not resurfaced as far as I know. He recorded with the Al-Kindi Ensemble
with Jalaluddin Julien Weiss and other great musicians. Weiss left Aleppo for Turkey I have been told.
I hope these fine Muslims & musicians have survived. We have here a taste of deep faith and very high station.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, which in addition to sounding very different ... 21 Dec. 2014
By Joel Daniel Parker - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Great CD, which in addition to sounding very different from anything that might be accidentally labeled "New Age" or "World Music" (which means different things to different people)...this album has a freshness that isn't trying to be 'music for meditation', but somehow is quietly meditative and deeply spiritual.

I am biased because I know the producer, but I only made contact with him after listening to and purchasing the album, which I read about on line.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising 17 Dec. 2014
By Damian27 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not what I expected but marvelous songs, marvelous job in this record. If you like sufi meditatios I highly recommend you
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