The Valencian singer Mara Aranda presents her album 'Sephardic Legacy', dedicated to Sephardic repertorie.
The album has been supervised and produced by Jota Martinez, specialist in "citola" and hurdy-gurdy applied to historical music. Other prestigious musicians have taken part in this project that approachs to the audience songs that have taken important part in social and cultural life of the people with different religions that lived together, alternating periods with more or less tolerance, during eight centuries, more than 24 generations, in the Hispanic-Jewish Sepharad, the Muslim Al-Andalus or the Christian Hispania.
Lots of examples of the Spanish-Jews' way of living have remained and they reflect in their songs those traditions that were transmited orally from parents to sons and preserved during more than 500 years
after Jews' expulsion. These songs tell us about their personal feelings, their celebrations, parties and rituals, about historical happenings connected with the Old Romancero, a jewel in the Spanish literature that accumulates a true manifestation of our History and it's one of the most important representations of the oral literature of our people.There are several kind of songs included in the album and performed in the concerts: songs from the Eastern zone of the Diaspor, like the dramatic lullaby from Sofia (Bulgaria), 'Nani Nani', where the mother is sleeping her son while she sings about the infidelity and indifference of his father; other songs from nearer places of Iberian Peninsula, Northern Africa, like 'D'oy en este dia', a wedding kantika where the mother advise her daughter, whose wedding day is near.
In Sephardic Legacy we'll find the sound of the instruments from medieval Spanish tradition, and others from Northern Africa tradition and the Eastern Mediterranean tradition too, following the example of the Sephardic people, who adapted their music to the own style and instruments of the zones they settled,always in constant evolution. Far from closing windows and doors to hide away that ancient inheritance, transmited from parent to sons, they opened them widely and this is why we can sing them nowdays and share them with all those History, music and tradition lovers.
Mara Aranda is very well known after two decades performing in the main European stages with projects such as L'ham de foc, one of the most international names appeared in the Spanish scene in the first decade in XXI century, or Al Andalus Project, a German-Spanish-Moroccan formation dedicated to perform and investigate the music developed in the Old Continent during Middle Ages. She has performed Turkish, Greek and Occitan music and cantigas from the repertorie of trobadours and Sephardic people, communicating a strong emotional feeling and a Mediterranean identity, making Mara Aranda one of the Mediterranean ladies and ambassador of their culture and old traditions.
Like researcher and Sephardic music performer, Mara Aranda emphasizes the importance of the music and songs that have been part of the Spanish-jews' lifes in the Peninsula until XV century, and in Northern Africa and the Otoman Empire afterwards.
Jota Martinez, specialist in medieval “citolas” and hurdy-gurdy and one of their most important performer, is an usual contributor in ancient music formations such as Axivil, Ensemble Diatessaron, Capella de Ministrers, Ensemble l’Allegrezza or Eduardo Paniagua and in traditional music formations. He has done several recordings and concerts with them,contributing with the special sound of his instruments that are true medieval constructions. He has performed the Medieval and Ancient Spanish music all over the world, in the most renowned festivals since 1980.
Mara Aranda: voice, tambourine, and castanets.
Jota Martínez: medieval lute, otoman lute, “cítola”, setar, hurdy-gurdy, organistrum and historical Iberian percusions
David Mayoral: Iberian and Northern African percusions.
Joansa Maravilla: Eastern percusions, medieval lute and rabab.
Aziz Samsaoui: qanun.
Andres Belmonte: ney.
Spyros Kaniaris: lyra of the Black Sea
Abel García: hurdy-gurdy,saz and lauto.
Eduard Navarro: nickelharpa, Fídula, gaida and chirimías
Media has said
The Valencian singer Mara Aranda is the new diva of the mediterranean music. Often compared with Cheikha Rimitti, Om Khalsoum or Arvanitakis, the greatest women of Mare Nostrum. El ideal,Granada.
Mara Aranda is one of the most important artists in the Mediterranean, specially beautiful in her vocal and performing. Paco Valiente
"...the new album reaches definitely the quality of the previous projects of Mara, be it L´Ham de Foc or Aman aman, and the personality of her way of singing shapes up as the key feature of her identity...” - Antonio Aguirre, Ritmos del Mundo
The Valencian singer Mara Aranda with her well forged career, has conquered Europe with her powerful and adaptable voice. Federico Simón, el País.
This is undoubtedly Aranda's best singing to date full of lively abandon and natural passion, a tour de force. **** Songlines - Jan Fairley