Andalusia of Love (Andalus al-Hob)
The music and lyrics of Lebanese composer, singer and 'ud master Marcel Khalife have captivated international audiences since he began performing in the 1970s. Andalusia of Love carries on this extraordinary musical legacy. Khalife collaborated with the renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, whom he calls a "second soul in his heart," for more than four decades until the poet's passing in 2008. In this haunting suite of 14 pieces, Khalife explores Darwish's vision of a renewed Golden Age, harkening back to 10th-century Muslim-ruled al-Andalus, where people of the three Abrahamic religions coexisted peacefully. Performed by the Al Mayadeen Ensemble—Khalife ('ud, vocals), sons Rami (piano) and Bachar (percussion), and Jilbert Yamine (qanun)—this presentation deftly combines Western classical, jazz and traditional Arabic music. "I was compelled to ... break away from the traditional formats of oriental music and song and come up with a more personal musical work," comments Khalife.