Alif is the collective sound of five musicians at the forefront of independent music in the Arab world. Bursting with rhythmic drive and fervour, the band’s wide ranging influences along with their unified and intriguing energy, give birth to a soundscape that is at once familiar and unknown.
Innovative instrumentation, poignant words from avant-garde poets such as Sargon Boulos and Mahmoud Darwish, and the abstract worlds penned by the band’s vocalist Tamer Abu Ghazaleh coalesce to create an intense labyrinth of sounds and emotions.
Conceived in 2012 and taking its name from the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, Alif features Khyam Allami (Oud), Tamer Abu Ghazaleh (Vocals/Buzuq), Bashar Farran (Bass), Maurice Louca (Keys/Electronics) and Khaled Yassine (Drums/Percussion).
After a myriad of European festival performances, a tour of the Arab world, and various residencies across Cairo, Liverpool, Alexandria and Copenhagen, the band began recording their debut album in late 2013 between Beirut and Cairo.
Since the band’s inception in 2012, Alif went through a handful of line-up changes until finally settling in mid-2013 with their current members. They premiered in summer 2012 at prestigious UK festivals including the Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival, Harrogate International Festival and the BT River of Music Festival (part of the Olympics-related London 2012 Festival) following a week-long residency hosted by the Liverpool Philharmonic.
Since then, they have toured across the Arab world and various European festivals such as Images Festival (Denmark), DansFabrik (France), Oslo World Music Festival (Norway), Visa for Music (Morocco), Beirut and Beyond International Music Festival (Lebanon), and Latitudes Festival (UK).