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Label: ECM
Quality: FLAC 16 bits 44.1kHz
mp3 included
Track length:4:56
Artist: Jon Balke
Performer: Amina Alaoui vocal
Jon Hassell trumpet, electronics
Kheir Eddine M Kachiche violin
Jon Balke keyboards, conductor
Helge Andreas Norbakken percussion
Pedram Khavar Zamini zarb
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Jon Balke
ISRC: DEB330704201
Track length:2:25
Artist: Jon Balke
Performer: Amina Alaoui vocal
Jon Hassell trumpet, electronics
Kheir Eddine M Kachiche violin
Jon Balke keyboards, conductor
Helge Andreas Norbakken percussion
Pedram Khavar Zamini zarb
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Jon Balke
ISRC: DEB330704202
Track length:5:17
Artist: Jon Balke
Performer: Amina Alaoui vocal
Jon Hassell trumpet, electronics
Kheir Eddine M Kachiche violin
Jon Balke keyboards, conductor
Helge Andreas Norbakken percussion
Pedram Khavar Zamini zarb
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Jon Balke
ISRC: DEB330704203
Track length:5:17
Artist: Jon Balke
Performer: Amina Alaoui vocal
Jon Hassell trumpet, electronics
Kheir Eddine M Kachiche violin
Jon Balke keyboards, conductor
Helge Andreas Norbakken percussion
Pedram Khavar Zamini zarb
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Jon Balke
ISRC: DEB330704204
Track length:4:30
Artist: Jon Balke
Performer: Amina Alaoui vocal
Jon Hassell trumpet, electronics
Kheir Eddine M Kachiche violin
Jon Balke keyboards, conductor
Helge Andreas Norbakken percussion
Pedram Khavar Zamini zarb
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Jon Balke
ISRC: DEB330704205
Track length:6:43
Artist: Jon Balke
Performer: Amina Alaoui vocal
Jon Hassell trumpet, electronics
Kheir Eddine M Kachiche violin
Jon Balke keyboards, conductor
Helge Andreas Norbakken percussion
Pedram Khavar Zamini zarb
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Jon Balke
ISRC: DEB330704206
Track length:3:27
Artist: Jon Balke
Performer: Amina Alaoui vocal
Jon Hassell trumpet, electronics
Kheir Eddine M Kachiche violin
Jon Balke keyboards, conductor
Helge Andreas Norbakken percussion
Pedram Khavar Zamini zarb
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Jon Balke
ISRC: DEB330704207
Track length:4:56
Artist: Jon Balke
Performer: Amina Alaoui vocal
Jon Hassell trumpet, electronics
Kheir Eddine M Kachiche violin
Jon Balke keyboards, conductor
Helge Andreas Norbakken percussion
Pedram Khavar Zamini zarb
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Jon Balke
ISRC: DEB330704208
Track length:4:16
Artist: Jon Balke
Performer: Amina Alaoui vocal
Jon Hassell trumpet, electronics
Kheir Eddine M Kachiche violin
Jon Balke keyboards, conductor
Helge Andreas Norbakken percussion
Pedram Khavar Zamini zarb
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Jon Balke
ISRC: DEB330704209
Track length:10:04
Artist: Jon Balke
Performer: Amina Alaoui vocal
Jon Hassell trumpet, electronics
Kheir Eddine M Kachiche violin
Jon Balke keyboards, conductor
Helge Andreas Norbakken percussion
Pedram Khavar Zamini zarb
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Jon Balke
ISRC: DEB330704210
11
Toda ciencia trascendiendo Toda ciencia trascendiendo 12:23     Add € 2.00
Track length:12:23
Artist: Jon Balke
Performer: Amina Alaoui vocal
Jon Hassell trumpet, electronics
Kheir Eddine M Kachiche violin
Jon Balke keyboards, conductor
Helge Andreas Norbakken percussion
Pedram Khavar Zamini zarb
Producer: Manfred Eicher
Composer: Jon Balke
ISRC: DEB330704211

Amina Alaoui vocal
Jon Hassell trumpet, electronics
Kheir Eddine M Kachiche violin
Jon Balke keyboards, conductor
Helge Andreas Norbakken percussion
Pedram Khavar Zamini zarb

Barokksolistene
Bjarte Eike: violin, leader
Per Buhre: violin
Peter Spissky: violin
Anna Ivanovna Sundin: violin
Milos Valent: violin
Rastko Roknic: viola
Joel Sundin: viola
Tom Pitt: cello
Kate Hearne: cello, recorder
Mattias Frostensson: double-bass
Andreas Arend: theorboe, archlute
Hans Knut Sveen: harpsichord, clavichord

Recorded September 2007
and March 2008

“I’m particularly pleased with the outcome and scope of the Siwan recording, an inspired meeting between musicians of the north and the south, a creative coming together of cultures. The potential of Jon Balke’s ideas and arrangements is, I believe, optimally realized in the architecture of the mix, which contrasts and finely balances very different yet strikingly compatible talents. Amongst them, Amina Alaoui, her voice conveying some remarkable poetic texts, the subtly powerful violinist Kheir Eddine M’Kachiche, Bjarte Eike’s twelve baroque soloists with strings and lute and harpsichord, master hand-drummer Pedram Khavar Zamini, and Jon Hassell, whose musical biography has long addressed the synthesizing of traditions.
In time, this music will be persuasively presented in concerts around the world, yet the recording itself, as the very first reference, is an unrepeatable event, of freshness and clarity, documenting the process of discovery.” - Manfred Eicher

Magical music, trailing deep roots. The listener is at first struck by the power of Amina Alaoui’s voice, soaring above Jon Balke’s remarkable compositions for baroque ensemble - with soloists drawn from jazz, scattered improvisational traditions, and the world of early music. Behind this remarkable musical integration is a web of philosophical, historical, and literary interconnections, as Balke and Alaoui set texts from Sufi poets, Christian mystics, troubadours and more and - inspired by the tolerant and creative spirit of medieval Al-Andalus - ponder what was lost to the bonfires of the Inquisition. Setting new standards in transcultural music, Siwan shows what can be made today when artists of the most divergent background pool their energies.

A powerful and magnetic album, and a reimagining of an epoch – and a project whose evolution was triggered, Jon Balke says, by “a simple, intuitive observation of the similarities of two beautiful traditions and soundscapes”. In the extraordinary voice and melodic inventiveness of Amina Alaoui, Balke heard correspondences with the “glittering universe” of early music, as explored by Bjarte Eike’s Barokksolistene.

Over the course of bringing these soundworlds together, Balke’s Siwan has developed into something broader yet, “a wide landscape of aspects touching European musical and political history, poetry from Al-Andalus, contemporary politics and human cross-cultural inter-relations”.

Signifying “balance or equilibrium” in Aljamiado (a Latin-Arabic hybrid language deployed in medieval Andalusia), Siwan creatively speculates on what was lost to the bonfires of the Inquisition. Andalus was a beacon of learning in the so-called Dark Ages, and unique in the degree of exchange between Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars. As Balke points out, there are striking correspondences in the writings of the Sufi poets and the Catholic and Sephardic mystics, clearly evident in the sung texts here which range from words of the martyred Al-Hallaj (”Thulathiayat”) to St John of the Cross’s ecstatic “Toda ciencia trascendiendo”.

Andalusian classical music was allegedly born in the court of Cordoba in the 9th century, and Moorish Spain was a centre from which musical idioms and instruments travelled. The notion of music and ideas radiating from a spiritual-geographical nexus is explored by Jon Balke, Amina Alaoui and friends, outlining, in contemporary spirit, a common denominator for Andalusian music, early Baroque music and jazz: three idioms distinguished by flexibility, openness to interpretation and improvisation, each with a great richness of forms and variations.

Initiated by Balke, with Alaoui and violinist Kheir Eddine M'Kachiche as contributors from the outset, and with Jon Hassell, himself a distinguished synthesizer of traditions, as guest soloist, the music for Siwan was written in response to a commission from Cosmopolite, Oslo’s multicultural stage. Long one of the most sensitive composer-arrangers for large ensemble, Balke has excelled himself with Siwan, creating a form with open spaces in which very different soloists can express themselves, co-exist, collaborate...

The album was recorded between September 2007 and May 2008, with Manfred Eicher producing. Since the recording, the Siwan ensemble has performed in Bergen, Stavanger and Cairo.

Norwegian pianist Jon Balke first appeared on ECM in 1974. From a background in jazz and ‘world music’, he has gone on to compose for theatre and dance performances as well as major works for chamber groups and sinfoniettas. He leads the Magnetic North Orchestra, whose albums include “Further”, “Kyanos” and “Diverted Travels”, was the initiator of the Batagraf project, has recorded solo for ECM (“Book of Velocities”) and also produced African drummer Miki N’Doye for the label.
Amina Alaoui is a virtuoso singer, born in Fez and originally schooled in the Moroccan Gharnati tradition, who continues to research connections between Fado, Flamenco and the music of Al-Andalus. In Siwan much of the music was originally composed to Spanish translations of the poetry. Alaoui helped to reshape the material around original Arabic versions, which she sings with great authority.
Memphis-born trumpeter Jon Hassell’s path from studies with Stockhausen to Indian vocal master Pandit Pran Nath to the sphere of New York minimalism led him to shape what he called ‘fourth world’ - a music without borders between classical and popular, sacred and sensual, which has filtered into nearly all areas of contemporary music. His landmark ECM album “Power Spot” was an early highpoint. His recent album, “Last Night The Moon Came...” reminded many of how influential his liquid trumpet sound has become.
Kheir Eddine M’Kachiche is a virtuoso violinist from Algeria. Based in the tradition of Arab-Andalusian music he has developed his own voice in collaborations with Amina Alaoui, Barrio Chino, and lately also with Cheb Khaled and Jon Hassell.
Bjarte Eike is a young veteran of early music. After studies in Bergen and London, he quickly established himself as a leading violinist on Copenhagen’s early music scene. A member of Balke’s Magnetic North, he formed his Barokksolistene in 2005.
Pedram Khavar Zamini, from Tehran, combines traditional tombak (zarb) drumming with his own modern patterns and is considered one of the most exceptional exponents of Persian classical music.
Norwegian percussionist Helge Norbakken has played in the groups of Mari Boine, Maria Joao, and numerous other international artists. His percussion draws influences from diverse world traditions and jazz – as can be heard in his work with Magnetic North, Batagraf and Siwan.
German lutenist Andreas Arend studied with Nigel North and is well-known as a flexible virituoso player, performing in a range of leading groups in baroque and renaissance music.
Bjarte Eike’s Barokksolistene (Baroque soloists) is a highly-regarded constellation of top players in the European early music scene. Members Tom Pitt and Peter Spissky – who with Eike have performed as Baroque Fever- have already recorded for ECM with Magnetic North, and Miloš Valent has appeared on ECM New Series with John Potter’s Dowland Project (“Romaria”) and Iva Bittová (“Mater”).

About Jon Balke:

Born 7/6 1955 Hamar, Norway start of professional careeer as musician in 1974,in various groups of improvised music in Norway, such as the groups of Radka Toneff, Arild Andersen, Karin Krogh, Jon Eberson Etc.

From 1979 numerous collective projects and recordings with musicians from India, Gambia, Germany, UK, USA and Scandinavia, including Archie Shepp, John Surman, Jon Christensen, Marilyn Mazur, Nguyen Le, Paolo Fresu and others.

From1982 Balke has composed music for theatre plays, art exhibitions, big bands, and chamber groups as well as continuing works with different jazz groups