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Houeida Hedfi

Fleuves De L'Ame

    ‘Fleuves de l'Ame’ is the debut album of Paris-based Tunisan artist Houeida Hedfi, produced with Olof Dreijer of The Knife. Originally a percussionist, ‘Fleuves de l' me’, is an elegant marriage of traditional folk music and contemporary sound design drawing references from Hedfi's drumming expertise and the textures of Tunisian music alongside a startlingly broad array of global genres.

    Hedfi came to music late, getting her first drum kit aged 27 when she was already established as an academic in the field of economics / mathematics. Alongside teaching she toured playing a contemporary spin on stambeli, a genre of Afro-Arab sufi trance music heavy on rhythms. “I loved it,” she recalls, “but I had this need for melody. There was no room for that within our group, so I realised I had to start my own project.” She enlisted the help of Tunisian violin player Radhi Chaouali and Palestinian bouzouk player Jalal Nader and began rehearshals. Over nine years of travel between Tunisia, France, and Dreijer’s Berlin studio, Hedfi refined each composition with a perfectionist’s ear and found a home in melody.

    During composition it was essential to Hedfi that the songs contained the quarter tones characteristic of Tunisian/Arabic music. “I wanted it to sound like me. In my mind, if you delete these quarter tones, it’s like deleting all the verbs from a sentence.” While her musical influences are not limited to Tunisia, she still views her album as a modern take on Tunisian music. “It’s not just Tunisian,” she adds, “it’s also made by a woman. That makes a difference. My music doesn’t take up so much space, it has nuance. If I had to put a nationality to my music, I would also put a gender to it.”

    Each track is named for a different river, referencing both the safety found in the sound of water and the sinuous drama of each composition, which often starts peacefully, before evolving to encompass drama and tension, conflict and resolution. 


    Side A
    Souffles Du Nil
    Namami Gange (Obéissance Au Gange)
    Side B
    Envol Du Mékong
    Appel Du Danube
    Side C
    Baisers Amers De L’Euphrate
    Les Cloches De Yamuna
    Echos De Medjerda
    Side D
    Cheminement Du Tigre

    Phantasy are proud to introduce the first reverberations of a new project from Tunisian multi-instrumentalist Houieda Hedfi, produced alongside Olof Dreijer, best known for his work in The Knife and as Oni-Ayhun. Foreshadowing an upcoming full-length album, two distinctive tracks are accompanied by a remix from Portugese DJ/producer Nídia.

    'Appel du Danube’ gradually expands from twinkling glass to lucid strings and classical piano, a startlingly emotive composition that’s cinematic in scope and ambition. Hedfi and Dreijer both feature on title track ‘Echos de Medjerda’, inviting listeners to lean into a spacious circle of percussive sound, conducting a brief journey full of melodic lurches and static interference, hinting at both magic and menace.

    Nídia, a key member of Lisbon’s hugely influential Principe collective, continues the fluid nature of the project by contributing tarraxo and kuduro influences to the traditional Tunisian rhythm elements throughout ‘Echos de Medjerda’.


    A1. Appel Du Danube Feat. Planningtorock
    B1. Echos De Medjerda Feat. Olof Dreijer (NIDIA Remix)
    B2. Echos De Medjerda Feat. Olof Dreijer

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