Amina Alaoui

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Biography

Following her outstanding ECM debut performance as the lyrical voice of Jon Balke’s Siwan recording (released June 2009) Amina Alaoui explores a rainbow of musical possibilities on her own Arco Iris. It is an emotionally powerful album that soars through related idioms. This time, says Alaoui in her liner notes, there is “no need to discuss the origins of fado, flamenco or Al Andalusi” for the music itself investigates the common crucible of the styles: Amina’s delivery, and the performances of her superb ensemble, make the interconnections of the genres self-evident. Yet as she also points ... Read more

Following her outstanding ECM debut performance as the lyrical voice of Jon Balke’s Siwan recording (released June 2009) Amina Alaoui explores a rainbow of musical possibilities on her own Arco Iris. It is an emotionally powerful album that soars through related idioms. This time, says Alaoui in her liner notes, there is “no need to discuss the origins of fado, flamenco or Al Andalusi” for the music itself investigates the common crucible of the styles: Amina’s delivery, and the performances of her superb ensemble, make the interconnections of the genres self-evident. Yet as she also points out, “you must first have assimilated your own roots, in order to absorb the culture of the other...” Historical awareness, study and discernment are essential but more is needed: “I am an artist of the present. I abstain from simply copying the styles of the past.”

Singer, composer, poet and scholar of distinction, Amina Alaoui was born in Fez and originally schooled in the Moroccan Gharnati tradition, which remains a central reference in her work. She also studied European classical music from childhood onwards. While based in Paris in the mid-1980s she explored medieval chant with Henri Agnel and Persian song with Djallal Akhbari, interested, as ever, in the points of contact between the traditions. Alaoui has been the recipient of many awards including the Algerian Prix d’Interprétation du festival de Musique Arabo-andalouse d’Oran, Morocco’s Prix d’Excellence au Festrival Ghanati d’Oijda, and the Cairo Opera’s Prix d’Honneur du Festival de Musique Classique Arabe. She is also a laureate of the Villa Medicis Hors les Murs where her musicological research into the confluence of musical streams led ultimately to the work that has become Arco Iris.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Following her outstanding ECM debut performance as the lyrical voice of Jon Balke’s Siwan recording (released June 2009) Amina Alaoui explores a rainbow of musical possibilities on her own Arco Iris. It is an emotionally powerful album that soars through related idioms. This time, says Alaoui in her liner notes, there is “no need to discuss the origins of fado, flamenco or Al Andalusi” for the music itself investigates the common crucible of the styles: Amina’s delivery, and the performances of her superb ensemble, make the interconnections of the genres self-evident. Yet as she also points out, “you must first have assimilated your own roots, in order to absorb the culture of the other...” Historical awareness, study and discernment are essential but more is needed: “I am an artist of the present. I abstain from simply copying the styles of the past.”

Singer, composer, poet and scholar of distinction, Amina Alaoui was born in Fez and originally schooled in the Moroccan Gharnati tradition, which remains a central reference in her work. She also studied European classical music from childhood onwards. While based in Paris in the mid-1980s she explored medieval chant with Henri Agnel and Persian song with Djallal Akhbari, interested, as ever, in the points of contact between the traditions. Alaoui has been the recipient of many awards including the Algerian Prix d’Interprétation du festival de Musique Arabo-andalouse d’Oran, Morocco’s Prix d’Excellence au Festrival Ghanati d’Oijda, and the Cairo Opera’s Prix d’Honneur du Festival de Musique Classique Arabe. She is also a laureate of the Villa Medicis Hors les Murs where her musicological research into the confluence of musical streams led ultimately to the work that has become Arco Iris.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

Following her outstanding ECM debut performance as the lyrical voice of Jon Balke’s Siwan recording (released June 2009) Amina Alaoui explores a rainbow of musical possibilities on her own Arco Iris. It is an emotionally powerful album that soars through related idioms. This time, says Alaoui in her liner notes, there is “no need to discuss the origins of fado, flamenco or Al Andalusi” for the music itself investigates the common crucible of the styles: Amina’s delivery, and the performances of her superb ensemble, make the interconnections of the genres self-evident. Yet as she also points out, “you must first have assimilated your own roots, in order to absorb the culture of the other...” Historical awareness, study and discernment are essential but more is needed: “I am an artist of the present. I abstain from simply copying the styles of the past.”

Singer, composer, poet and scholar of distinction, Amina Alaoui was born in Fez and originally schooled in the Moroccan Gharnati tradition, which remains a central reference in her work. She also studied European classical music from childhood onwards. While based in Paris in the mid-1980s she explored medieval chant with Henri Agnel and Persian song with Djallal Akhbari, interested, as ever, in the points of contact between the traditions. Alaoui has been the recipient of many awards including the Algerian Prix d’Interprétation du festival de Musique Arabo-andalouse d’Oran, Morocco’s Prix d’Excellence au Festrival Ghanati d’Oijda, and the Cairo Opera’s Prix d’Honneur du Festival de Musique Classique Arabe. She is also a laureate of the Villa Medicis Hors les Murs where her musicological research into the confluence of musical streams led ultimately to the work that has become Arco Iris.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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