Continuing with my recent set of trance brotherhood music tapes from the Meknes area (after Aissawa and Gnawa), here's a tape of Hamadsha tunes. The performer is from Fez, but I picked up the tape in Meknes in '99.
The Hamadsha are followers of Sidi Ali ben Hamdush, a saint whose shrine is in the Jbel Zerhun mountainous area north of Fez and Meknes. They specialize in working with people possessed by the notorious jinniya Lalla Aisha. The Gnawa also perform music for Aisha's trances, and it is derived from the 5/4 melodies heard here. (Gnawa versions of these tunes, which they call "Hamdushiya", can be heard elsewhere on this blog.) Lalla Aisha is usually identified as Aisha Qandisha, but this is contested by some, including the performer featured on this tape.
The performer, Abderrahim Amrani, is the muqaddem of a Fez branch of the brotherhood as well as a versatile musician proficient in a number of genres. See yala.fm for his biography (and some questionable pop versions of Moroccan trance tunes.) Or check out more tunes and video on the Fez Hamadsha website or on their MySpace page!
The music on this tape features the guinbri (not the large guinbri used by the Gnawa, but a smaller variety) and the large clay goblet drum known as gwal, along with clapping and singing. Not heard here is the ghaita oboe, which the Hamadsha use in some parts of their ceremony.
Get it here.
BTW - thanks for all your comments recently - I haven't had a chance to reply to all, but hope to do so soon. I do appreciate the feedback and the conversation!
UPDATE - JAN 14, 2013 - Happy to say that Mr. Abderrahim Amrani has seen this blog post and shared more information about Lalla Aisha with followers of the blog! Please see here.