Iness Mezel - Wedfel (1999)

«Iness Mezel is of Berber (Kabyle) origin. She has been developing a musical identity, firmly rooted in her dual culture, since 1995. After the usual classical musical studies – singing, piano – she went on to learn jazz improvisation and various singing styles different from the Berber style like African (Elik Tara) and classical-contemporary (Tamia).

Her voice has a rare and bewitching tone; singing a cappella, it becomes delicate and serene; then suddenly it lets itself go in pieces full of festivity, brightness, warmth and innovation.

The composer and singer Iness Mezel has chosen a musical approach which stems from the need to create links between cultures. Her research is nourished by inventive peregrinations between tradition and modernity with the aim of taking African and Berber rhythms out of their usual context. This means broadening the traditional concept of Berber music by opening up onto a harmonic space, in which the melodies make child's play of the major and minor modes, thus giving her music a touch of jazz or blues, unusual phrasing.

The music she composes is like a spark that flies when her personal feeling of what it means to be Kabyle comes into contact with the harmonies and rhythms she has gathered.

Her approach is guided by her musical curiosity, which she shares with the musicians who accompany her in quest for a true cultural exchange and, something that is extremely rare, it is a Kabyle woman, Nora Abdoun, who plays the Berber percussion instruments (bendir, karkabou, etc.)

Iness Mezel writes poetry, which wends its way like the wind, silent yet remarkably intense; poetry in which the imagination, friendship, a people 's sense of responsibility towards its memory, its language, its destiny, are as many clues, keeping one from losing one's way on those unfrequented paths, along which she takes the Kabyle language. Then a free, new voice is raised which carries far, far.» (iness-mezel.com)

«Iness nous révèle, grâce à la richesse de sa voix chargée d’émotions, les secrets d’une Afrique berbère, urbaine, aux fortes impressions afro jazz, y incarnant un état d’esprit et un style résolument modernes et ouverts sur le monde, libérée de ses traditions.» (afrik)

Many thanks again to my friend Giuliano for this post.

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Radu said...


Sr do Vale said...

Radu, parabéns pelo blog, tem muita coisa boa, muito progressivo de primeira linha.

Anonymous said...

this is really nice!
wishing a peaceful and prosperous algeria for future days. i love this country and its culture

Anonymous said...

Thanks Radu - a great discovery for me - I had never heard of her. Lovely voice and timbres of acoustic instruments.

Michelle said...

thanks so much for introducing me to this singer!! I love your blog!