The group "Aquitania" (Morocco/Spain), specializing in medieval music from the three cultures, ended this Saturday, 21 February, with a concert at the Convento de S. José, in Lagoa, the 15th al-Mutamid Music Festival.
Over 60 minutes, the group sang songs sung in Arabic, Ladino and Old Castilian, transporting spectators on a colorful and multicultural journey through the Middle Ages in al-Andalus, through a careful selection of themes that had their splendor among the ninth and fourteenth centuries.
The Festival had started on January 23, also in Lagoa, but in the Municipal Auditorium, with the group «Media Luna» (Morocco/Spain).
This festival was created in 2000 with the dual purpose of honoring the poet king Al-Mutamid, and simultaneously rescuing and disseminating the music of the three monotheistic cultures (Christian medieval, Muslim and Jewish-Sephardic) which, for centuries, flooded bazaars, medinas, palaces, Jewish quarters and castles of al-Andalus, Mediterranean and Middle East.
In this 15th edition, the balance is, according to the organization, “extraordinarily positive, because, in general terms, the number of public has increased, and particularly, the Portuguese public”.
The highlight is also the fact that the city of Almada has hosted the al-Mutamid Music Festival for the first time, at the Romeu Correia Municipal Forum, with a sold-out capacity.
For this reason, the organization also highlights “the interest of some cities that are part of the “Al-Mutamid Route” (tourist-cultural itinerary related to the history of al-Andalus, with the historical memory of King al- Mutamid and covering the cross-border territory of Andalusia and the Algarve) to join the Music Festival».
One of the highlights of this festival was the performance of the Syrian group «Alturaz Al Andaluzi», which moved audiences from Almada and Olhão.
This group, whose artistic director is the renowned Syrian singer Mahmoud Fares, specialized in Andalusian music inshad e al Tarab of the alepine style (from Aleppo – Syria), impressed by his melodic gifts, while the dancer Mohamed Babli surprised the audience, removing from his dance dress carrot a banner with the word Peace.
Photos of: Duarte Costa