SOUND OF THE SOUL is a vivid, multilayered portrait of Fez, Morocco, an historically openminded Arab city, with its annual Fez Festival of World Sacred Music. This exceptional event invites Muslim, Christian and Jewish men and women to share the heart and soul of their spiritual traditions through musical performances at the city's historic sites.
SOUND OF THE SOUL explores the heart of Fez itself: its heritage of tolerance as an ancient sanctuary for people of different faiths; its mystical Islamic foundations; its evocative medieval settings. This is the ideal location for an unforgettable festival that brings together a unique array of musicians - a transcendent chorus of African Berber women, a Portuguese Fado singer, a French early music ensemble, players and vocalists from Afghanistan, England, Russia, Ireland, Mauritania, Turkey and finally, a gospel band from New York City. All are intermixed with ecstatic Sufi performers and all are connected through their artistry by profound expressions of love and longing.
An Episcopal priest in the crowd notes:
"Every religion on earth is very dependent upon the arts, because the arts are the most direct and immediate way of communicating profound passions and profound beliefs.”
Through the narrow alleyways of the walled, ninthcentury Moroccan city, an articulate and engaging Sufi teacher guides viewers on this illuminating adventure into "the hearing of the heart.”
"To the Sufis, God cannot be known through the mind only. The mind is like a horse that carries you to the door of the sultan's palace, but cannot enter it with you. So the mind can lead you to knowing the existence of God, but not to communicate with God and know the essence of God - that's a different dimension.”
SOUND OF THE SOUL captures the multifaceted nature of this extraordinary celebration by deftly weaving together insightful commentaries from musicians with live discussions from an international symposium of philosophers, scientists and spiritual leaders.
An inspiring antidote to spreading sectarian violence and global threats of a "clash of civilizations”, SOUND OF THE SOUL ultimately reveals the essential connection among all faiths, so aptly expressed in an Afghan singer's closing affirmation:
"Music has no religion, no borders, no boundaries. Music is the sound of the soul.”
MUSICAL GROUPS FEATURED IN SOUND OF THE SOUL
Francoise Atlan & the Mohamed Briouel Orchestra (France-Morocco)
Farida Mahwash & the Kabul Ensemble (Afghanistan)
Kudsi Erguner Ensemble (Turkey)
Dimi Mint Abba (Mauritania)
The McCollough Sons of Thunder (United States)
The Sirine Choir (Russia)
And from Morroco:
Nass El Ghiwane
Saad Temsamani Group
The Fraja Group