Oriente Lux

Program: #24-08   Air Date: Feb 19, 2024

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Jordi Savall’s latest project, subtitled “Dialogue of Souls,” is inspired by “the light from the East” and brings together musicians from troubled lands where refugees have been forced to leave their homes.

NOTE: All of the music on this program comes from tribe recording Oriente Lux: Dialogue of Souls featuring the ensembles Orpheus 21 and Hesperion XXI directed by Jordi Savall. It is on the Alia Vox label, and is recording AVSA9954. For more information: https://www.alia-vox.com/en/

The expression “Ex Oriente Lux”, which inspires our title ORIENTE LUX, refers first of all to the light which always dawns in the East, but it also refers to the spiritual light emanating from the ideas and the cultural and spiritual traditions of the ancient civilisations of the Near and Far East. That is why the fundamental contributions of the oral traditions of Eastern music to the development of our medieval musical traditions and in dialogue with them, have inspired the Orpheus 21 project.

This project, which was born as a social and cultural initiative to support refugee and immigrant professional musicians in Europe, took place throughout 2017 and 2018 thanks to the essential collaboration of Waed Bouhassoun and Moslem Rahal, two exceptional Syrian musicians. Together with them we have created an original programme, presented in this live recording the symbolic theme of “Paths of exile and hope”. A group of magnificent musicians from Syria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Morocco and Turkey came together in the development of this project. With the collaboration and supervision of soloists from Hespèrion XXI, as well as the Syrian musicians Waed Bouhassoun and Moslem Rahal, and myself, the Orpheus 21 team carried out a remarkable pedagogical and artistic project centred on young refugee musicians hosted in various towns and cities in Europe, with the aim of giving a voice to this diversity of age-old musical legacies which are preserved in the memory of all these extraordinary musicians. Let us not forget that many of them, who today are forced to become refugees or immigrants in our excessively fearful and ungenerous Europe, are the bearers of an unwritten memory, of a rich musical culture which is on the brink of disappearing. Because this culture comes from regions which for many years have been devastated by terrible wars, by blind terror or savage colonialism.

This great musical fresco is also intended as a homage to the victims of the war in Syria which, at the time of writing, is entering its twelfth year, with a terrible toll of human suffering and more than 570,000 dead. There remains little hope of achieving a just solution after eleven years of inhuman conflict which has left more than half a million dead, six million internally displaced people, five million refugees who have been forced to flee abroad, and a country – Syria – which will take decades to recover. As Milan Kundera reminds us in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, one of the most tragic faults of human beings is their great capacity for amnesia, which is why we propose this CD with its recording of the concert of “music against oblivion” given on 10th March, 2019, at the Pierre Boulez Hall of the Philharmonie de Paris. We are convinced that, thanks to the commitment and art of all these musicians, the strength of emotion and the beauty of this music, which is both ancient and very much of the present moment, will – like the song of Orpheus – make us more sensitive and generously supportive.


CD 1

  1. Sadher Lau Banailo More Boiragi – chant traditionnel de Bangladesh 5’13
    Azmari Nirjhar
  2. La rosa enflorece – chant traditionnel séfarade 3’24
    Rebal Alkhodari et tous
  3. Mîrkut – chant de tradition kurde 3’40
    Rusan Filiztek
  4. Ya Ghazaly – chant traditionnel (Muwashshah) de Syrie 4’00
    Abo Gabi et tous
  5. Canarios – Michael Praetorius, Terpsichore, 1612 4’16
  6. Şeferdîn– chant religieux yézidi de tradition kurde 4’06
    Rusan Filiztek
  7. Al-bint el shalabiyya – chant traditionnel d’Irak 3’09
    Rebal Alkhodari
  8. Longa Riad (Farah Faza) – instrumental arabe (Riad Sombati, 1906-1981) 3’11
  9. Yâ habîbî – chant traditionnel d’Alep, Syrie 4’30
    Meriem Moubine
  10. ‘Al maya, ‘Al maya – chant traditionnel de Syrie 7’19
    Rebal Alkhodari et tous


  1. El Rey Nimrod – instrumental, traditionnel sépharade d’Israël 2’31
  2. Sabiha – chant traditionnel du nord de la Syrie 9’19
    Ibrahim Keivo
  3. As for tall – chant du Liban (Marcel Khalife, 1950) 5’14
    Yacine Karboa
  4. Lamounî – chant traditionnel du Maroc et de Tunisie 3’50
    Imad Amrah
  5. Laïli Djân – chant traditionnel d’Afghanistan 3’33
    Azmari Nirjhar et Rebal Alkhodari
  6. Hal Asmar – chant traditionnel de Syrie 5’07
    Abo Gabi
  7. Ya Mariam el bekr – chant à la Vierge de Syrie 3’15
    Waed Bouhassoun
  8. Kevok – danse et chant de tradition kurde 6’27
    Ruşan Filiztek et Ibrahim Keivo
  9. Apo xeno meros – chant traditionnel de Grèce 6’23
    Üsküdar – chant traditionnel d’Istanbul
    Improvisation – Bangladesh
    Azmari Nirjhar
    Ghazali tal jàhri – instrumental, traditionnel du Maroc
    Tous les musiciens ensemble
  10. ‘Al maya, ‘Al maya – chant traditionnel de Syrie (bis) 3’10
    Rebal Alkhodari et tous

Composer Info

Riad Sombati (1906-1981), Marcel Khalife 1950

CD Info

Alia Vox label AVSA9954