An exceptional sacred musical performance was organised on Friday 12 July at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music titled “The Sacred Sounds of Andalusia with Al-Firdaus Ensemble”.

The sold out event was attended by a large number of people of diverse cultural background and faiths who were mesmerised by the spiritual atmosphere of devotion and joy created by the Al Firdaus Ensemble artists.

The Al Firdaus Ensemble is a multicultural sufi music group based in Granada, Spain. It was founded in 2012 by the English violinist and singer Ali Keeler and includes musicians from England, Spain, Morocco and South America.

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The members of the group with their different cultural and musical backgrounds contribute to producing the unique sound of Al Firdaus, a synthesis of musical traditions, Western classical, Celtic, Arabic, Turkish, Andalusi, and Flamenco.

They aspire through their music to inspire the highest sentiments and hope that their music can play a role in building bridges between cultures and spreading peace in these turbulent times.

“The Sacred Sounds of Andalusia with Al-Firdaus Ensemble” Sydney tour was organised by Matthew Richards with his team of volunteers and sponsored by Crescent Wealth and The Crescent Foundation as well as Attia Lawyers and Consultants.

A smaller event was also held on Saturday in Yagoona with an  informative Q and A with the group, followed by a Mawlid.

Their Melbourne event was held on Wednesday 10 July at the Drum Theatre.

The words of the songs by Al-Firdaus Ensemble are mainly in Arabic drawn from the poetry of the great sufis from Al Andalus and the Arab world such as Ibn Arabi and Al Shushtari.

Also within their repertoire are musical adaptations of poems in Aljamiado, old Spanish  written by the Moriscos using the Arabic script.

In this way Al Firdaus hopes to revive the heritage of the Moriscos whose culture was forbidden in its day and has only reached us through manuscripts which they left behind on their expulsion in 1609 and that have been discovered over the years hidden in old houses.

The group has released two albums so far.