The fifth string, with mysterious historical origins, the one that the legendary Zyrîab added to the oud, reveals itself, in a certain way, as the symbol of the missing link: that of the ether, the soul of the cosmos. The music of the spheres and planets imagined by Pythagoras (6th century BC) would later become an inspiration for great Arab scholars such as Al Kindî (9th century) or Al-Fârâbî (10th c.).

Andalusia, perhaps even more than the symbol of a civilization based on the meeting of the three monotheistic religions, is through the character of Zyriâb, the expression of a circulation between East and West. First, there is the Baghdad – Cordoba axis which, against the backdrop of antagonism between the Abbasid and Umayyad dynasties, will generate the blossoming of exceptional refinement. Then, a Hispano-Arabic culture will emerge. The recital practice called “sawt” instituted by Zyriâb will continue in the art of nûbat, cantigas, jota, Ladino songs and despite the reservations of some musicologists, flamenco.

This idea of a harmonious Andalusia, where the beauty of nature, the stars, nurtured by the knowledge of the Ancients and ancient Bedouin poetry, where the sacred texts of the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran coexisted, is the last refuge of a vision of existence faced, among other things, with the ecological challenges of our time

The program proposed for this new edition fits into the cultural diversity defended by this festival for 26 years. Each proposed concert will be an invitation to land on the shores of emotion, knowledge and perhaps for some, who knows, ecstasy, as in the past where each shore called the other, constantly, necessarily, since antiquity.

Alain Weber

Artistic Director