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About this Album

Joining the traditions of ancient Arab poetry and music with synthesizers and a penetrating vocal style, Abed Azrie made his Nonesuch debut with “Aromates” (Aromas).

Born in Syria and currently living in Paris, Azrié’s songs resonate with elements drawn from centuries of Arabic culture. Although more than half of the songs on “Aromates” come from contemporary poets living in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, all are evocative of a mythic, spiritual past.

Azrié’s settings involve synthesized sound -- electronic drones and keyboards, as well as percussion, lute and flute. His performances of this music throughout Europe -- including the recent Printemps de Bourges (Bourges) Festival and Festival of the Mediterranean Song (Palma) -- have brought him considerable attention. Diapason wrote of his recent appearances in Paris:

“Of course, this is not just folklore ... but these remarkable works are bound to become an integral part of a people’s expression.”

“Aromates” is Azrié’s seventh recording, and his first U.S. release. Prior releases include a setting of the Epic of Gilgamesh (Mesopotamia, 2,500 B.C.), which was hailed by Telerama as “one of the most important discographic events in the last two years ... Abed Azrie’s music will move all those who, whatever their nationality, simply have a heart.” His most recent projects include “Venesia,” a suite of Venetian lyrics written for solo woman’s voice, male choir, and instrumental ensemble; and “Suerte,” songs in Arabic and Spanish of lyrics from the 11th and 12th centuries. Azrié has also written music for the French theater; for films in Egypt, Holland and Syria; and settings of ancient Sufi mystic.

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