Backed by double bass, acoustic guitar and percussion, and with only the lightest of touches from other guest musicians, Amira Kheir could hardly be accused of over-producing her second album, Alsahraa. No, rather in the spirt of the album's title, “the desert”, her sound is clear and ascetic, and recorded in the acoustically beautiful space of the Union Chapel, London, it is a true and honest reflection of Amira's own compelling live performances.
Since the release of her debut album View From Somewhere in 2011, Amira has continued to develop and refine her unique interpretation of the Sudanese tradition. This she achieves by combining it with original material in a contemporary acoustic setting, and while on Alsahraa she confines herself to just two languages, Arabic and Italian, her voice explores this repertoire with the ease and passion that only a true tri-lingual singer can. Born in Italy of Sudanese parents, Amira has now made London her home.
Relaxed yet alert and articulate, Amira is no stranger to the BBC and other broadcasters' studios, nor indeed, to some of the world's most prestigious stages and festivals including the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, and the Festival Of The Desert in Mali. But it would be wrong to paint Amira as some globe-trotting world music wanna-be star. Her music might be set in the wide open spaces of Alsahraa, but its impact is intimate and personal.
released March 17, 2014
Amira Kheir: vocals and percussion
Camilo Menjura: guitar, tiple and backing vocals
Michele Montolli: double bass
Leandro Mancini: drums, percussion and backing vocals
Nadir Ramzy: oud, percussion and backing vocals
James MacKay: trumpet
Kalia Baklizanaki: nay
Abdoulaye Samb: vocals
Village choir: Kamariya Mbamba, Faiza Bahe, Jacqueline Madu, Damini, Bhasin and Hana Salama
Recorded live by Les Mommsen at the Union Chapel (London)
Mixed by Chis Morphitis at The limes Studio (London)
Mastered by Mandy Parnell at Black Saloon Studios (London)
Art and design by Aqua Video & Zest
The music of Sudanese-Italian singer Amira Kheir, who has been tagged by BBC World News as the "diva of the Sudanese
desert", is rooted in ancient Nubian and Niolitic melodies, and is confidently married with experimental jazz and bursts of electric desert blues. She has previously released two albums, both to critical acclaim, View From Somewhere (2011) and Alsahraa (2014)....more