Asfar

The three brothers who constitute the Trio, now at the height of their maturity and knowledge, made AsFâr, their fifth album, with music composed as well as “experienced” by all three of them. For the discovery of other cultures cost them a lot of struggles as well as many joys.

Five years previously, when they came to live in Paris, they were bearers of a dream but haunted by fear, yet determined to discover the West so as to make their own music, culture and differences better known... The West they dreamed of has brought them a great deal, and now they in turn give back all that is best in them, the most spiritual, the richest part of themselves, the part closest to their heart.

No preconceived plan, then, nor precise itinerary, just a well of emotions surging forth, a multitude of notes and tones their ‘uds know how to express so well, with Dhafer Youssef as vocalist on two titles and the celebrated rhythms of their loyal partner, percussionist Youssef Hbeisch. Asfâr offers completely new horizons; a journey rather than a project, it takes us through their varied influences, plunging deep into the winding stream of their most secret thoughts.

With the aim of keeping the freshness of the initial flow, the three brothers chose not to rehearse the compositions they’d worked out together, before going into the studio...It’s true the maqmt, scales and modes of Arab music are the basis of their compositions, steeped in the traditions of their native Palestine.

But with the extra inspiration supplied by their fertile imagination and unquestionable erudition, they are able to weave new patterns and unusual variations – and what could be more natural for them? For they are the fourth generation of a family of eminent lute-makers, and when talking of their three priceless instruments (with them since the earliest days of their career) they now clasp so lovingly, they are fond of saying they’re six brothers on stage...

Asfâr, “journeys” in Arabic, and “As far” in English – a play on words that matches their reality. The Trio has come a long way over the last five years, has attracted new audiences, composed film scores, won prizes and awards, and appeared on some of the most important scenes in the world with internationally recognised artists.

With their superlative musicality and stage presence – unique of its kind – they are top ranking artists here to stay for a long time yet.