ALJAMA - ancient songs of the Mediterranean

ALJAMA - ancient songs of the Mediterranean
Aljama 2022
Aljama - ancient songs of Mediterraneo
Aljama ancient songs of Mediterraneo


trad sephardic, ALJAMA 2022
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aljama karkum project pruduction
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  • country:Italy
  • region:Lazio
  • style(s):Mediterranean, Medieval
  • label:Karkum Project
  • type:Band, Small Ensemble, Duo, Trio, Quartet, Quintet, Large Ensemble
  • instrumentation:instrumental, vocal, a cappella, percussion, string, unplugged
  • artist posted by:Karkum Project

Line up

  • Claudio Merico (viella, rebeca, violin, symphonia, rebab, oud)
  • Giulia Tripoti (vocal, frame drumes, saz, symphonia, winds)
  • guests (wind instruments, liute, percussions, salterio)


“ALJAMA” Ancient songs of the Mediterranean. The new album by Claudio Merico and Giulia Tripoti born from the musical program “Sefarad”.
The album "Aljama" by the artists Claudio Merico and Giulia Tripoti, produced by Karkum Project, is the result of research, study and concerts around Italy, started in 2018. It comes to life from the musical program " Sefarad " and it is a temporal and geographical journey that, starting from the songs of the ancient Sephardi, Christian and Muslim communities of the Iberian peninsula (Al Andalus), travels along the Mediterranean to then land in Turkey, ideally following the migrations and diasporas of peoples over the centuries.

The initial focus, therefore, is centered on the ancient Iberian communities, which coexisted for many centuries, to then follow their migrations in a temporal path throughout the Mediterranean (as in the case of the Sephardi diaspora) up to Turkey.

The name "Aljama" indicated the Arab and Sephardi minorities still present in the Iberian Peninsula after the fall of the Arab Empire.

The disc is the result of musical experiences, in which there is no lack of artistic and personal aesthetic nuances, with a vision in some ways modern and not necessarily philological, which aims to make these wonderful sounds its own.

The atmospheres range from purely melodic and meditative moments to others that are more rhythmic and engaging. From Sephardi Romances to Cantigas de Santa Maria, up to Andalusian Al-Ala Music, in perfect harmony with the meeting of cultures, religions and peoples, which for centuries has characterized the history of the "Middle Sea".

Claudio Merico - viella, rebeca, violin, symphonia, Andalusian Arab rebab, oud, choirs.
Giulia Tripoti - voices, bendir, flutes, saz, symphonia, percussion, choirs.
Aljama - THE DISC

The album "Aljama" is a journey of nine tracks, which starts with the joyful medieval sounds of the popular Sephardic cantiga "Avrix mi Galanica".
Rhythmic and joyful musical setting between flutes, drums and strident medieval strings such as the viella, rebeca and symphonia,
to continue his journey in the Middle Ages of the ancient Iberian Marianic cults, with the cantiga 344 “Os que a Santa Maria”.
Praise to Mary starts with an intro of symphonia, which, following the Arabic tradition of "taksim", introduces the key points of the melody
and the (Gregorian) mode and then leaves room for a trio, with a "suspended" flavor of voice, viella and symphonia, with a growing development
of sound level and arrangement.

With the third and fourth tracks, the disc abandons medieval sounds to face two Sephardic chants in a more modern way. “Si veriash a la rana”, an ancient Bulgarian Sephardi rhyme, codified by centuries
of Ottoman influence and culture, due to the Jewish diaspora. “El rey de Francia”, an ancient and sweet Sephardi romance, is artistically presented in a very personal key.

The fifth track marks the midpoint of the disc with an Andalusian Twichia. An instrumental in the "Asbahan" ancient melody, handed down orally
often used as a complement to the songs of the Andalusian "Nubat", in the Andalusian classical music "Al-ala", still present today in Morocco.
The instruments used are the typical ones of this genre: Maricchino oud, recorders, bendir and the characteristic “Arab-Andalusian rebab”
an ancient and archaic ancestor of our modern violin.

The second part of the disc continues with the famous Cantigas 302 “A madre de Jhesu Cristo” and with an ancient poetic text by Ibn Al-Jhatib “Escanciadme”
present in the Andalusian classical musical tradition.

The penultimate piece is the poignant and profound Sephardi song "Yedi Kule", set in the prisons of Istanbul followed by the bucolic and emotional
sound greeting entrusted to the Sephardic song "A la una yo nacì".