After three previous albums Mara Aranda again returns to the traditional
repertoire of the Spanish Jews in the diaspora: “Música i cants sefardís d’Orient i
Occident” (Galileo-mc, 2009), “Sephardic Legacy” (Bureo Músiques 2013) as well as
“La música encerrada”, recorded together with Capella de Ministrers (2014), were
all dedicated to this tradition.
Her research work has taken her to Thessaloniki (Greece), Istanbul (Turkey) and
Jerusalem (Israel), prior to the recording of these works, to gather information
from original sources and to complete the musical repertoire that can not be
understood disconnected from its historical and cultural context.
This musical repertoire attracts different types of researchers: anthropologists,
musicologists and ethnomusicologists, linguists, novelists, journalists or historians,
the public in general … especially since the nineteenth century when the Sephardic
culture was rediscovered almost accidentally, and because of its immeasurable
richness became a patrimonial value of mankind.
Abraham B. Yehoshua, the renowned Israeli writer of Sephardic origin, suggests in
his article Beyond Folklore that “Sephardic identity contains three components:
Christian, Muslim and Jewish. These three elements, inseparably merged, form an
astonishing cultural symbiosis”, a symbiosis which we find represented in “Sefarad
en el corazón de Marruecos”, the new work of Mara Aranda.
The songs tell us about the daily life of the Sephardic people, songs they shared
when they participated in celebrations and feasts, or songs they sung in the
intimacy of their homes. Generation after generation passed on melodies, rhythms
and the feelings of their people only by word of mouth until this day.
Of Arabic-Andalusian tradition the music ranges from popular folk songs to virtuosic
interpretations, elements of a classical Arabic music, revealing us the inner feeling
of this people for whom music and poetry were the two outstanding ways they
cultivated to draw nearer to God and to express even the most subtle movements
of the soul.
Christian tradition is included by some instrumental passages of the “Cantigas de
Santa Maria”, which merge these tow realities, combining arduousness, care,
sensibility and the wisdom of great mean who were despite their personal creed
able to work for a higher and more noble aim, transcending their identity into time.