Formed by some of the brightest musical talent from across the Arab world, the Alif Ensemble brings together artists from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt and Iraq. Conceived by multi- talented oud player and serial collaborator Khyam Allami in partnership with two of the most inventive and independent Arabic musicians of today – Palestinian composer and vocalist Tamer Abu Ghazaleh and Egyptian electronica musician Maurice Louca – the Alif Ensemble is a pan- Arabic collaboration. This core trio is joined by musicians from both traditional and contemporary Arabic music disciplines, including percussionist Khaled Yassine (Lebanon) and bassist Khaled Omran (Syria).
The ensemble debuted in summer 2012 at prestigious UK festivals: the Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival, Harrogate International Festival and the BT River of Music Festival (part of the Olympics-related London 2012 Festival) after a week-long residency hosted by the Liverpool Philharmonic. They also performed an intimate concert at the IKON Gallery in Birmingham. Public and critical reaction to these debut concerts made it clear that the project has an exciting future ahead, and the Alif Ensemble (named after the first letter in the Arabic alphabet) are currently working on recording and touring plans for 2013.
During time spent together – a month in Cairo – ahead of their first gigs, the ensemble developed a darkly compelling and energetic sound-world from a beguiling blend of acoustic and contemporary electronic sounds. In a review of one the band’s very first performances The Wire, the UK’s premiere experimental and avant garde music magazine, described the Alif Ensemble as:
“a vehicle for original composition, attuned to the traditions of Arabic music, but applying a rock dynamic to their delivery [...] The dominant Alif character is one of a collective sound, each member working at the service of the compositions, rarely stepping forward to solo, and usually sounding equally balanced.”Band
Khyam Allami (Oud)
Tamer Abu Ghazaleh (Vocals, Buzuq)
Maurice Louca (Electronics)
Khaled Omran (Bass)
Yarub Smarait (Violin)
Ayman Mabrouk (Perc)
Khaled Yassine (Perc)
(Source : Facebook)
Alif Ensemble فرقة الألف - Three songs
02 Hasat حصاة(Pebble) - Live in Beirut 29 Dec 2012
03 Intadhirha (Wait for Her) Live