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Creative Explorations from Traditional Songs

Stemming from the initial Ya Lalla Project, a Composer’s Workshop took place online in 2021 at the height of the COVID19 pandemic. The intention was to hold a concert for the Minerva Festival in Cambridge later that year with new compositions inspired by the Saharan repertoires.


Women’s traditional songs for birthing in Morocco are community music par excellence. The pandemic heightened the awareness of the chasm between moments of community musicking, and individual isolation, sonic and otherwise.


In April 2022, we held a performance for the Cambridge Festival with songs, poetry and compositions inspired by the topics from the online platform. The following visual score by Marcella Keating entitled HOLD ME TIGHTER, is inspired by Mme. Azeroual’s songs and the feelings of closeness to those we love.


We invite you to share it with a group of friends, colleagues or family, and perform it, as a response to the opening of community musicking opportunities after the recent lifting of restrictions.



Performance Notes (Marcella Keating, 2022)


The piece should last approximately 5 minutes. It should be performed by a group of at least four people, who should stand/sit in a circle facing each other.


Individually choose one of the lines to imitate: do not inform the rest of the group of your decision. Follow the shapes to act as a guideline for pitch, and add dynamics at your own and the group’s discretion. Any syllables/vowels/consonants/hums etc can be used to imitate the lines.


All participants should finish the score at the same time. Once you have reached the end of your line, hold onto your note until all other participants have also finished.


Take your time, and think about your loved ones whilst you perform.

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