Two recent CD donations from Belinda Sykes, the director of early music band Joglaresa, have instantly become the radio team’s favourites. Dancing in Tetuán and Douce Dame Debonaire are two little gems in the early music scene, which have now been added to the stream.
Thanks to the generosity of our listeners, CEU Medieval Radio keeps receiving CDs of both upcoming and well-established early music bands from around the world. Unfortunately many of them, despite their inspiringly new approach to early music and top-notch quality, will never enter the stream for copyright reasons–the Radio Team cannot afford to pay copyright fees to the authors on top of the royalties paid to record labels and performers. However, the ‘authentic pre-1700’ category is broad enough for some bands sharing their medieval and renaissance recordings with us to fall into. One of them is Joglaresa, a London-based British/Israeli/Irish/Arabic ensemble.
Led by Belinda Sykes, who is also a Professor of Medieval Music at Trinity College of Music, Joglaresa plays English, Maghrebi, Balkan and Middle Eastern music with the aim of finding a homogenous sound that links diverse musical traditions together without diverging from the authenticity of the songs they play.
A particularly good example of this philosophy is Dancing in Tetuán, a powerful collection of acoustic Judeo-Arabic dance songs, Sephardic wedding songs, Berber rhythms and Moorish romanzas of Andalusia and the Maghreb. Particularly exciting is the intellectual standpoint this collage of mediterranean songs reflects by seeing the Mediterranean in Braudelian terms as a ‘connecting sea’ instead of the often suggested ‘separating sea’.
Our thanks go to Belinda in London for the music they play and the CDs, which we recommend to all who are interested in medieval French and traditional Jewish and Arabic music.