Arabic Poetry with Modern Jazz
Stemming from the Arabic word for “imagination“, “Khyal” can be translated as the ‘memory of and longing for something long gone’. Sophie Tassignon’s “Khyal” is a musical meeting of cultures. This music represents the tolerance and acceptance of peoples from around the world regardless of background or belief system, and offers a glimpse into the beauty and artistry that can arise through cross-cultural collaborations.
Vocalist and composer Sophie Tassignon is known for her unique timbre and her beautifully intricate compositions and arrangements, as have been heard in both her solo project and the chamber jazz quartet AZOLIA. Next to her all encompassing musical existence, Tassignon has a deep seated interest in cultures from around the world and fluency in a variety of languages, which she makes apparent on her solo release with RareNoise Records.
In 2017, due to her work with Syrian refugees in Berlin, Sophie Tassignon decided to begin learning the Arabic language and to seek a deeper understanding of Arabic culture. This work has in turn led to the development of her newest project, KHYAL.
KHYAL blends poetic Arabic texts with jazz traditions from Europe and North America. Some of the songs performed by the group of five international Berlin-based musicians is centred around the words of Mohammad Mallak, a Syrian scriptwriter and playwright who resides in Berlin, and acts as editor in chief of Saiedet Souria magazine. The rest of the poems are Tassignon’s lyrics translated by Lebanese poet Hicham Nasr as well as Emirati poet Ousha Bint Khalifa.
KHYAL’s first album will be released on October 20th, 2023 on Belgian label de W.E.R.F.
Sophie Tassignon: voice
Peter Van Huffel: alto saxophone
Peter Meyer: guitar
Roland Fidezius: bass
Mathias Ruppnig: drums
“Sophie Tassignon is a Belgian, Berlin-based singer. She has a tremendous voice, which allows unexpected incursions into the higher register and melodies that think out of the box.” L’avis du Soir, J.-C.V.
Listen to Sophie Tassignon and Mohammad Mallak’s interview on rbb Cosmo Radio station online:
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