Moroccan Andalusian Music: Jewish-Muslim Interweavings

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  Tuesday, November 30, 2021
  4 - 5:30 p.m.
  340 Stephens Halls & online via Zoom (register for in-person attendance and/or link)
  Izza Génini: Dr. Sarah Levine

The CMES is proud to host award-winning and renowned filmmaker, Izza Genini for a conversation about her work. We will begin with screenings of excerpts from two of her films, followed by a conversation led by Dr. Sarah Levin of UC Berkeley. This is a hybrid event, both in-person and on Zoom. In person capacity is limited.

"Nûba of Gold and Light"

The film tells the story of the nûba, North African Andalusian music. As a musical tree, its branches are nourished by the sap flowing for fourteen centuries from Morocco’s most remote areas together with currents coming from Arabia; then it grew in the courts of the Andalusian Caliphs, gained strength in medieval Spain, mingled with the songs of the troubadours and Sephardi Jews, before being replanted in the Maghreb and flourishing further into Morocco under the name of el Ala.

"Embroidered Canticles"
The exceptional meeting in Paris of two masters of Arab-Andalusian music, Rabbi Haim Louk and master Abdelsadek Chekara, shows how Moroccan Jews and Muslims preserved with fervor and passion the treasures of their common musical patrimony inherited from Andalusia. The matruz performed in the film literally "embroidered or interlaced piece," designates a particular type of Moroccan Jewish piyyutim (sung liturgy) developed between the 17th and 20th centuries that alternates between Hebrew and Arabic within the same passage.

Izza Génini (1942, Casablanca) is a film director and producer based in Paris. Before turning to cinema, Génini studied Literature and Foreign Languages at the Sorbonne and at the School of Eastern Studies in Paris. She is a pioneering figure in Moroccan documentary films. Her influential films (18 of them) grapple with themes such as her Moroccan-Jewish heritage, diasporic identity, and especially, the wide variety of socio-cultural contexts of music in Morocco. She and her films have won numerous awards and in 2018 AnouArts Association in Morocco dedicated a whole film festival to her: "Toute une semaine avec Izza” ("An Entire Week with Izza").

For in-person attendane, please register here:

Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of California, Berkeley
340 Stephens Hall, Berkeley, CA  94720-2314



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