The Ecstatic Journey gathers together classical traditions, ascetic mediations and exultant celebrations into a single, kaleidoscopic concert showcasing the Sufi songs of Morocco, Pakistan, India and Indonesia.
Sain Zahoor (live)
BBC World Music Award winner Sain Zahoor is a spiritual minstrel from Pakistan, the wandering guardian of a rich and vital street culture. Representing rich Moroccan Sufi traditions that date back to the 7th century AD is Marouane Hajji, born in 1987 in Fès and a member of Chorfas Skalli family, who descend from the revered Saint Moulay Ahmed Skalli. The Moulay Ahmed Skalli zaouïa (religious school) was founded in the 17th century and it remains a place where people regularly practice the dhikr (invocations) and the samaâ (songs).
The Bauls of Bengal are traveling minstrels, mystic singers, beggar philosophers – and a deeply free, altruistic people. At dusk, the Gorbhanga Fakirs sit under the “akhra” (or “ashram”), a circular and open-sided hut in the middle of their village, and play music on the dotara (a five-string, bird-headed lute), on the harmonium, on the jhuri (small cymbals), on the dholok (drum) or on the tabla. The musicians usually play two main different repertoires: the Baul-Fakir gaan, devotional songs with bakti and sufi influences which are widely inspired by Lalan Fakir poetry (1774-1890), and the bangla qawwâli – closer to the Pakistani qawwâli, and associated with guru Gaus-ul-Azam (1826-1906) from the Tarika-e-Maizbhandari, in Bangladesh.
Hadrami Arabs from Yemen traveled, traded, and spread religion across Indonesia over the course of several centuries. Today, descendants of Hadrami traders can be found living in urban communities throughout Indonesia and the younger generations of Arab Indonesians use music to reinvent their Arab ethnicity. Nanang Kurnia Wahab is one of those. After leaving his Indonesian Islamic Boarding School in 1997, he and his friends started the Islamic music Ensemble Syubbanul Akhyar based in Jakarta, developing the innovative Hajir Marawis style.