The Piyut Ensemble | Special Guests: Yossi Fine & Eliyahu Dagmi

The Ben-Zvi Institute, and NaNa Disc is proud to introduce Piyut Ensemble’s first album, “Arba Otiyot”.

Stemming from the depths of traditional Moroccan rabbinical poetry from the south eastern Tafilalt region, the music is a result of years of research, creative experimentation, and performances, by three generations of singers and musicians.

Inspired by Rabbi Abuhatzira and his subsequent dynasty, “Arba Otiyot” is a tribute to the spirituality, history, and liturgical poetry found in the North African “Piyut” heritage altogether. Based on the sound of this rural, unique musical signature, the Ensemble combines ancestral sounds with its own contemporary reverberation.

The album’s title, “Arba Otiyot” (Four Letters) is a reference to the Hebrew letters “YHVH” with which Yahveh is refered to in the sacred poetry. In its apparent simplicity, the music conceals more complex, mystical roots, based on the codes of the writing, as well as its transcending circularity. The songs humbly speak of elevation and joy through prayer, belief, and tradition.

The magic of the album lies in the depth of its chants, its absorbing rhythm, and the life it infuses into a powerful spiritual tradition. Piyut Ensemble explores, with great creativity, the cohesion and freedom that each track brings forth through its melodies, its clapping, and its compelling voices.

This post is also available in: Hebrew