Album Remarks & Appraisals:
The "Exile Music" project was set up by the Musiq'3 Festival as a way of supporting professional musicians who are refugees in Belgium, helping them pursue their musical activities in a professional context. The project has most notably assisted the Syrian group, the WAJD ensemble, in producing the album "Music from Aleppo". The WAJD ensemble is made up of five Syrian musicians who recently arrived in Europe: Khaled Alhafez (vocals), Tamman Alramadan (ney), Tarek Alsayed Yahya (oud), Fawaz Baker (oud, kanun and double bass), and Youssef Nassif (kanun). WAJD's repertoire is representative of oriental music from Turkey, Syria and Egypt and revolves around Sufi music from Aleppo. A mainly oral musical tradition, it stems from incantatory rituals meant to attain ecstasy. WAJD's musicians highlight musical pieces that are little known and rarely played. Reinventing through improvisation, sung or played, rhymed or unrhymed, they manage to make each piece truly their own.
Personnel: Tarek Alsayed Yahya (vocals, oud); Youssef Nassif (vocals, qanoun); Tammam Alramadan (vocals, ney); Fawaz Baker (vocals, double bass); Khaled Alhafez (vocals, percussion).
Recording information: Ferme du Biéreau, Louvain-la-Nueve, Belgium.
Photographers: Marie Kroll; Janina Bunk; Thorsten Krienke.