Liona & Serena Strings


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This album is a glinting golden thread woven through with all the jewels of an ancient culture, one which enriched this diverse Iberian Peninsula and was called Sefarad.

The Sephardic music, sung in Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), passed orally from generation to generation, gathering along the way the influences, rhythms, dialects and musical characteristics of the countries to which the Jews fled from Spain (1492) and Portugal (1496). Later, settling in Greece, Morocco, Algeria, Turkey and places beyond, the Sephardic songs remained, and were full of passion, joy, celebration, sorrow, love and life.

The Piyutim – these are the spiritual and philosophical texts in Hebrew, written throughout 2000 years of diaspora, ever since the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the Jews were expelled from their land. The Piyutim found in this album all originated in medieval Spain and were all written by Rabi Yehuda Haleví (1075-1141).

Also in this album, there is one traditional Jewish song and one Moro-Cristiano poem.

Like all peoples, we are made of the earth and the heavens, where everyday life contains memorable moments and often times, there is an alignment within the very essence of the soul. This album glides between these two worlds, up and down, trying to touch, engage with and open the listener´s heart.

Some of the melodies were adapted from the traditional Ladino music, and some are newer melodies, which are a modern interpretation of traditional scales and chords combined with the musical influences of our compositions.

Composing with the Piyutim however, was somewhat a different process; there I had to reconnect with the long gone author's emotions and intentions. This was done by dedicating myself to this task and taking special time, asking for guidance, trying to channel into his soul; a truly amazing and spiritual experience. With all my heart, I hope I do justice to the ancient texts.

The musical arrangements were faithfully written to the style of the ensemble, which combines influences from classical, folk and Spanish music.

For some time now, we have been performing with this new project, Sefarad, and we were asked to record it into an album so our audience can take the music home with them at the end of each concert.

Well, there it is, all for you…
released June 23, 2017

Liona Hotta - Voice, Vocals
Oscar Bergillos Sánchez - Classic Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
María Pilar López Hurtado - Violin, Vocals
Juan Díaz Porras - Cello, Vocals

Guest Musicians
Rafael Fontaiña García “Teto” - Percussion
Jerónimo Gómez Melgar “Topo” - Bass Guitar
Salvador Andrades - Spanish Guitar

Traditional, Liona Hotta, Juan Díaz Porras

Juan Díaz Porras,
Oscar Bergillos Sánchez
Liona Hotta
María Pilar López Hurtado

Recoding, mix and mastering
Francisco Ureba “Curro” - Trafalgar Estudios

Tomoyuki Hotta

Art Work (Booklet Center)
Blanca Orozco

Graphic design, layout & edition
Liona Hotta
tags: ethnic fusion sephardic world classical folk fusion piyut sefardic sefardí traditional Algeciras
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