Oren Fried, Esti Kenan Ofri and Armand Sabah

25 Golden Stairs

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The making of the trio's second program “De Veinticinco escalones” ( “25 Golden Stairs”) and the recording of the music in this album is the culmination of an ongoing and lengthy process. It began with attentive listening to the traditional performers of the Hakatiya tradition, followed by a concert that has been staged in Israel and around the world over several years.

As a consequence, the recorded music clearly brings to life the theatrical elements of the live performance which preceded it.

25 Golden Stairs CD cover
25 Golden Stairs CD cover

"This performance by one of Israel's foremost interpreters of Sephardic song is a personal reflection on the North Moroccan tradition of wedding songs, rather than a folkloristic reenactment of that tradition." (Dr. Walter Zef Feldman).

This performance is not presenting a traditional wedding. It rather emphasis the beauty of the melodies and the wisdom of Women's psychology that this traditional songs carry.

Different characters and moods are presented by movement, different combinations of use of the voice, the Oud is playing traditional styles but would also describe moods, machines and landscapes. The percussion instrument are sometimes used by all participants, and have theatrical use .When the bride finds it difficult to leave her fathers home, she is accompanied by an instrument that looks like a brick with which her a new home is being built. The future conflicts with her mother in law are described by a conversation between spoons and a tray.

The Haketia language is the medieval Spanish spoken in the Iberian Peninsula at the time of the Jews' expulsion, mixed with Hebrew words and with terms borrowed from the Berber and Arabic languages spoken in Morocco. Both musically and literally, the repertoire of this tradition is related to long history of deferent regions in Spain, hundreds of years under various cultural influences in morocco and continuous relationship with the Sephardic communities all around the Mediterranean. All of that was woven into a very unique intimate tradition and women's wisdom passed down from Mother to daughter.

The music of “Kol Oud Tof” remains faithful to the traditional song, but also conveys the musicians’ own individual creativity. Yet above all, the spirit of the Hakatiya culture leads the way in both the live concerts and in “25 golden stairs”, the second album of the trio.