Libana

Libana

 Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
BandWorldFolk

Global music connecting cultures. Now celebrating their 35th Anniversary, Libana illuminates the creativity, vision, and spirit of the world's women through the performance of contemporary and traditional music, dance and story from around the world. Libana has appeared at festivals, universities, concert series and conferences from coast to coast as well as internationally.

Biography

Riveting, transformational and soul stirring, Libana's performances take listeners on a musical journey reflecting the universal human experience uniting us all.

Interweaving music, dance and story from such divergent cultures as the Balkans, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, South America and Europe, Libana's artistry speaks directly to the heart, inspiring audiences around the globe with wonder at the beauty, breadth and wisdom of our worlds cultural diversity and common humanity.

Over thirty-five years ago, a group of women sharing a passion for international music, dance, and womens' issues formed the global music ensemble Libana. Inspired by Judy Chicago's groundbeaking exhibit The Dinner Party, Libana took their name from a woman of the same name honored by the artist-- the 10th-century Moorish poet, philosopher, and musician -- symbolizing womens' creativity, vision and spirit throughout time.

From ancient traditions to contemporary creations, from the political to the spiritual, Libana's international repertoire covers a vast musical spectrum expressed with stunning close a cappella vocals and an impressive palette of instruments including oud, charango, saz, guitar, hammered dulcimer, panpipes, accordion, dumbek, djembe, frame drum, dholak, tapan, clarinet and double bass.

Libana believes deeply in the power of song, the rhythm of the drum, and the spirit of dance to connect people across cultural difference--creating a bridge of the heart. Their commitment to the artistic expression of the global community has inspired dynamic cross-cultural understanding, profound healing, and widespread peacebuilding.

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PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS: 

- World Music Concert Series (Boston, MA)
- Tarab Tanger World Music Festival (Tangier, Morocco)
- US Embassy sponsored joint concert with Moroccan women's ensemble Ikhlas (M'diq, Morocco)
- Artists-in-Residence, American Embassy School (New Delhi, India)
- Ravi Shankar Centre (New Delhi, India)
- American Cultural Center (New Delhi, India)
- Barefoot College (Rajasthan, India)
- Bourgas International Folklore Festival (Bulgaria)
- Varna International Folklore Festival (Bulgaria)
- Women Waging Peace International Colloquium (Cambridge, MA)
- International Orff/Schulwerk Music Educators Conferences (Milwaukee, WI, Rochester, NY, & Philadelphia, PA)
- National Kodaly Association of Music Educators Conferences (Wash. D.C. & Williamsburg, VA)
- Canadian Museum of Civilization (Ontario, Canada)
- U.N. General Assembly International School Conference (New York, NY)
- The Smithsonian Museum Concert Series (Washington D.C.)
- Philadelphia Folk Festival (Pennsylvania)
- Clearwater Festival (Valhalla, NY)
- Old Songs Festival (Altamont, NY)
- Britt Festival (Ashland, OR)
- Strathspey Performing Arts Center, (Nova Scotia, Canada)
- Bay Chamber Concerts (Rockport, ME)
- Music in Corrales (Corrales, NM)
- Yale University (New Haven, CT)
- University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY)
- Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA)
- Cedar Crest College (Allentown, PA)
- La Pena Cultural Center (Berkeley, CA)
- Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (Langley, WA)
- The Christmas Revels (Cambridge, MA)
- The Kripalu Center (Lenox, MA)

"World class! A globe-circling sound...the music brings universal understanding across borders." -The Boston Globe

"Haunting Vocal Harmonies...a marvelous tapestry of instruments and voices." - The Washington Post

Lyrics

Liwlaad Widdeeb (Lebanon)

Written By: M. Khalife

"O my teacher, the wolf came to eat us. What shall we do? O my children, stay where you are. Are you listening?... O my children, don't be afraid; together we will protect the house."

About the song:

Women as mothers and teachers take on profound responsibilities in passing on the wisdom and moral values of a culture. In this song, children learn from their teacher that by uniting with their community, a dangerous situation or oppressive force (symbolized by the allegorical wolf) will lose its power.

Instruments: oud, darabuka, and tabl

Medley of Quechua Songs (Bolivia)

Written By: L. Carpio/C. Laymi

Wataj Quillasnin
(words & music by Luzmila Carpio)

Take the rain away from this place now.
Old man wind, take away the rain!
Don't let the corn die, Father Sun!

Antarcitu is crying;
We have too many children here!
The whole place is drowning.
Stop the rain now!

Way'ko Wayko' sta
(words & music by Comunidad Laymi)

We will sing, we will dance, my love.
By only saying your name we will find each other, my love.
Looking for you, I walk from cliff to cliff.
At dawn when I see the sunrise, I remember, my love.
I carry you in a special place;
You're the reason of my life.
Tomorrow I will go to another place, but I won't stop thinking about you.
When I return we will sing, we will dance, my love.
Looking for you, I walk from cliff to cliff.

Instruments: Charangos and guitar

Momiche (Bulgaria)

Written By: Traditional (Arr. Kiril Stefanov)

"Beautiful Momiche, how did you ever become so beautiful? Did a sculptor sculpt you? Did a painter paint you?"

"No, none of that! The moment I was born, my mother gazed upon a white rose and I have been that beautiful ever since!"

Tendl Pal (Hungarian Gypsy)

Written By: Traditional

Instrumental dance music played on Hammered Dulcimer, kontra, and bowed double bass

Ad Cethent Tulas (Algerian Berber)

Written By: D. Abouda

Chorus:
The bad times are over and the women are going to dance!

Verses:
My love, respond to my hope. Together let us overcome what destiny seeks to impose upon us, that we may be for one another the clearest of mirrors.

You intentions are not harmful, and there is no need for our arguments. I refuse the out-of-date traditions and their hypocrisy.

My love, respond to my desire. Be the echo of my cry. May our meeting be one of happiness and joy.

Instruments: oud, guitar, violin, sopranino recorder, naqqara, and hand percussion

Deep Peace (U. S.)

Written By: Bill Douglas

An ancient Irish Gaelic Blessing:
Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the shining stars to you,
Deep peace of the gentle night to you,
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you,
Deep peace to you.

V'asu Li Mikdash (U.S.)

Written By: Hanna Tiferet Siegel

Hebrew and English:
Make sacred space for me to dwell, and I will be with you.

The songwriter writes: “In Exodus 25:8, the Israelites are told to construct a Mishkan- a dwelling place for the Shekhina, the Divine Feminine."

Instruments: Hammered dulcimer and harp

Hotaru Koi (Japan)

Written By: Traditional

Come, firefly, come! Over there the water is nasty, over here the water is sweet. Come, firefly, come!

I Arise Facing East (U.S.)

Written By: Deborah Langstaff

Words by Mary Austin:
I arise facing East, I am asking towards the light.
I am asking that the day shall be beautiful with light.
I am asking that the place where my feet are shall be bright,
That as far as I can see, I shall follow it aright.
I am asking for the courage to go forward through the shadow,
I am asking toward the light, I am asking toward the light.

Zar (Egypt)

Written By: Traditional

A medley of four Arabic rhythms (maksoum, beladi, sayedi, and ajub) played on tabl, mazhar, riqq, darabuka, zils, The zar is a traditional women's healing ritual.

Discography

Instrument of Peace (2013)
Turning (2009)
Out of This World (2004)
Night Passage (2000)
Borderland (1993)
Fire Within (1990)
Sojourns (1989)
A Circle is Cast (1986)
Handed Down (1985)
Libana also appears on two compilations: Welcoming Children into the World (1999) and Lullaby (1994)

Set List

LIBANA's repertoire spans the globe, including powerful a capella vocals, a stunning instrumental palette, and riveting dance. Set lists can be customized to the venue. Also available to offer workshops, residencies and master classes.