Moh Alileche
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cd cover Moh Alileche
Tragedy (Tawaghit)

Listen to "Day of Happiness"

"...the entire album, whether it deals with overtly political matters, love affairs or traditional weddings, represents Alileche's own militant, artful contribution to the struggle for recognition of the Amazigh language and culture." - Ted Swedenburg, RootsWorld (read the full review)

About the artist:
Moh Alileche was born in the mountainous region of Kabylia in 1959, while the Algerian war for independence was still being fought. An orphan--his father executed by the colonialist army--he studied Arabic and French, the languages of the system, but he writes and sings his songs in his native Kabylie.

When he was only nine years old, he made his own first stringed instrument. On the left is an image of an instrument many children in Kabylia made during the 1960s in order to learn how to play. It was made of an aluminum oil can, a piece of wood, used as the neck, a screw to tune, a single string, and nails.

Later, he played the Spanish guitar, an instrument he received from his cousin. Eventually, he began playing the Mondol, a five double-silk-stringed instrument. To obtain the unique sound used by almost all Kabylia musicians, he added an extra two quarter notes.

At first, Moh Alileche performed mostly at weddings, where his original songs were well received. His growing reputation attracted the attention of a radio station in Algiers, and in 1980, he was interviewed on their promotional show for new singers.

In 1990, Moh Alileche moved to the United States, where he has participated in several Music Festivals and events, including El Cajon International Festival, Linda Vista Multi-Cultural Fair, and San Diego State International Festival in Southern California. In addition, he has been performing at the International House at U.C. Berkeley for the Spring Festival, as well as at the San Francisco Free Folk Festival for the last four years. In May 2000, he participated in the San Francisco World Music Festival. Since the release of his CD in YR 2000, he has been interviewed by several radio stations in northern California, including KPFA (94.1) in Berkeley and KALW in San Francisco. His CD was covered in the October-November issue of the World Music magazine, Dirty Linen, and the movie-documentary, "The Visionary," incorporated music from the CD as background to its section on pharoanic Egypt: Tawagit (Tragedy) and Imawlan Tmurt (The Natives).

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