Igal Gulaza, vocals, percussion
Yair Hashahar, guitars
Leat Sabbah, cello
David Dagmi, jumbush, percussion
Israeli ensemble and Arabic music – male vocals with female songs from Yemen, intertwined with modern instrumental textures.
Four artists come together and continue the natural evolution of Yemenite Women songs. Instinctive and mystical texts that have passed from mother to daughter for centuries acquire a modern and contemporary meaning in a special instrumental composition. The combination of traditional strings, cello and acoustic guitars, and the fact that these songs are for the first time sung by a man, creates a unique soundtrack.
Breaking ethnic and musical boundaries has become second nature for Gulaza. Igal Gulaza, whose father is of Yemenite origin and mother of Moroccan descent, collected the songs for years, from childhood memories and personal meetings with old Yemenite women. The starting point of the creative process was influenced by the Yemenite Jewish tradition, which used singing and drumming alone. During the creation Igal felt the desire to expand the statement to a more universal one, and began to look for more instruments and for a new musical story. Through his sultry vocal performance and a unique combination of instruments, the audience is cast into an entrancing world of prayer, passion, dance, love and longing for freedom.
Yemen, a country at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, is dominated by a clan-based, polygamous and highly patriarchal society. Women, mostly girls as young as the age of 8 to 10, are often coerced into marriage to an elderly man they barely know, if at all; sometimes as a second or third wife. After following their husband to their new home, they would attend to the tasks that they had been trained for by their own mother. Often they would never see their families again. Since women in Yemen were illiterate, a major historical source for describing their lives was their oral poetry, which was passed down for generations from mother to daughter by word of mouth. Their poems and songs documented their longings, desires, hopes and disappointments. The singing is of an improvisational character (the women were not only singers, but also composers and poets), and exists in their everyday work and household tasks and most importantly, at the »Hena« ceremony, when the woman is separated from her family.
The page of the group