Armand Amar, “Maryam”

Armand Amar, “Maryam”, Featuring Hamza Shakour, From the Movie Soundtrack Album “Bab’ AzĀz”

Born to parents of French-Moroccan origins in 1953, Armand Amar was born in Jerusalem and spent his childhood in Morocco. Extra-European music, imbued with the sounds of instruments considered exotic at the time, fascinated him. A self-taught personality, he was constantly searching for physical experiences in the early years of his musical apprenticeship; in the following years, his searching became a commitment. He discovered the zarb and congas, learned to play the tablas, and studied  under masters of both traditional and classical music. 

Armand Amar’s discovery of dance in 1976 was a decisive moment in his life, brought on by an invitation from trained anthropologist and South African choreographer Peter Gross. In dance, Amar found a direct relationship to music, free improvisation, and the advantages of real, immediate exchanges. Amar soon became involved in two ventures: his involvement in Patrice Chéreau’s acting school and his teaching at the Conservatoire National Supérieur, both focusing on the relationship between music and dance. He has since worked with various choreographers including Francesca Lattuada, Russell Maliphant, Carolyn Carlsson, and Marie-Claude Pietragalla. 

Amar’s musical and spiritual influences show in his films scores: film director Costa-Gavras’s 2000 “Eye Witness” and 2009 “Eden is East”; Radu Mihaileanu’s 2009 “The Concert”, winner of the César for Best Soundtrack of the Year; the 2006 “Days of Glory” by Rachid Bouchareb; the 2008 “The Maiden and the Wolves” by Gilles Legrand; and many other notable films. In August of 2014, Armand Amar received the Amanda Award for Best Soundtrack of the Year for the music of Norwegian director Erik Poppe’s movie “A Thousand Times Goodnight”.   

In 1994 in partnership with his friends Alain Weber and Peter Gabriel, Amand Amar founded the record label Long Distance for traditional, classic, and world music, producing more than sixty titles. Amar’s own work is released through the labels of Long Distance, Naive, Universal, Sony, and Warner. In June of 2011, at the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco, he created his first ‘oratorio mundi” entitled “Leyla and Majnun”, which consisted of forty singers and musicians from around the world.The performance played at Salle Pleyel, in Paris in April of 2014. 

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