The Nour Ensemble moves between sacred Occidental polyphonies to the declamation of mystical Persian song.
This particularly accomplished musical approach engenders deep serenity from which a true feeling of spiritual pleasure emanates, at the same time reinstating an ancient communion between East and West.
European music from the 9th to 15th centuries (Gregorian plain-song, Spanish cantigas, etc) fell before the intellectual and conceptual revolution that spawned the development of musical writing (written musical notes). Thus the music was closer to traditional oral context still modal in essence.
Whether this music was profane or liturgical, the inspiration for it was, like Persian music, often popular in nature. Indeed, from an historical point of view, it was a time when travellers, merchants and artists from the East and the West, from the Orient and the Occident, perpetually confronted and connected with each other, creating an axis of cultural circulation that was alive and creative.
Traces of these exchanges are also symbolised by the existence of the lute, whose oriental ancestor can be found today in the oud; or the tympanon, psalterion or canon, again ancestors of the santour and qanoun that are still played today.
Later, the ensemble deepened the musical experience between Persia and the West by adding Persian instruments.
In 2000, the Nour Ensemble produced their album Alba. This was the first experience of allying Persian and European vocal music. Alba means 'white', symbolising the interior light of Persian Sufis, or the light that filters through the windows of cathedrals in the West towards the faithful.
White light, the colour of the passage of night towards the dawn, of shadows towards clarity, the colour of purity and of wisdom. White light is also the synthesis of all the colours that are so divergent and contrasting, one against the other.
This group will perform as part of the night in the medina 2