Flutist, vocalist and composer, Naïssam Jalal has created a unique and vibrant musical universe.
Prizewinner of the 2019 Victoires du Jazz (and nominated in 2018 and 2021), healing rituals sees her pursue
her ongoing search for sincerity. Her music acts as a veritable healing ritual.
A few years ago, in search of meaning, as I sought to reconcile the necessities of being and of the spiritual in a world marked by possession, by the material and by consumption, I took to exploring the deeply spiritual dimension of music by imagining a mystical repertoire turned towards trance and based on silence, Quest of the Invisible. As I pursued this search, I saw myself setting to the creation of healing rituals.
At a particularly painful moment in my life, I had to spend a few weeks in hospital. A musician friend came to play in my room. To hear music at that time and in that place had a very powerful effect on me in terms of its impact on my morale and inner well-being but also physiologically. And so I decided that I wanted to give back to others what I had been lucky enough to receive…. I wanted to go and play in hospital rooms.
The suffering body and mind need simple, beautiful, true, intense and repetitive music to regain a sense of well-being. These are the characteristics of most types of healing music, such as the Zar in Egypt and the Gnawa in Morocco.
As part of my residency at the Estran theatre in Guidel, I spent time performing in hospitals with patients during collective rehabilitation sessions, or in their rooms in a more intimate relationship, in oncology, palliative care or other departments. However, the constraints of a hospital setting are such that I was unable to fully go there where I wanted to go. And so I decided to create the rituals on stage. I called upon the double bass player Claude Tchamitchian (with whom I had worked on occasions as part of my trio Quest of the Invisible), the cellist Clément Petit (who had already performed with me in hospitals and physiotherapy centres) and the drummer-percussionist Zaza Desiderio.
My healing rituals address the three imperatives of a body in pain: silence, trance and beauty. Silence to soothe. Trance to forget pain and anguish. Beauty, which the spirit needs as nourishment, to regain hope and the desire to live when faced with the ugliness of the suffering body.
I composed these healing rituals outside of any tradition. They are the fruits of my imagination. The bond with mother nature came to me very simply and I am familiar with the well-being that certain elements of nature procure me. Calmness, fullness, wonder. The river, the moon, the sun, the hills, the mist, the forest, the wind and the ground all served as inspiration, as models. I tried to transcribe the powerful energy inside each of these elements into music so as to recreate in the listener’s ears the sensations they create in me.