ALIYA AND THE NEW ANDALUS
Founded in Southern Spain by Oud player and singer Aliya Cycon, Aliya & the New Andalus fuses Flamenco rhythms, Arabic scales and Western Pop harmonies into a flavorful world that leaves catchy melodies in the ear and inspiration in the soul.
"A voice like an angel and magnificent Oud playing. Aliya is a maestra of melodies, which shows in her singing, playing, and songwriting.” – Ben Woods
click here to listen to AATNA's live performance and interview on Territori Sonor Radio, A Pùnt Media, in Valencia. (starts at 32:20)
Or check out the video clip below:
Watch video below of Aliya talking about the project and her music on Cadena Ser Radio, in Valencia.
LIVE SHOW (La Casa de la Mar, Valencia, Spain)
AMERICAN GIRL, MEDITERRANEAN WORLD. The first female Oud player to emerge on the global scene from the United States, Cycon has recently formed the AATNA Project. It’s a vessel for conjuring an upbeat and relatable musical reflection of her recent experiences living in the Andalusian region of southern Spain via a striking convergence of Flamenco styles, multi-lingual singing (in Arabic, Spanish, French, and her native English) and her skillful playing of the beautiful-sounding Oud; the lute-like string instrument of North Africa and the Middle East. Modern and historical strains of Sephardic, Andalusian, and Arabic music, and even Jesse Cook-influenced pop, form her unique musical palette.
Music from around the world has always been the source of inspiration for Cycon’s music, and AATNA is no exception. She boldly leads the group with her exuberant playing and spirited singing. The trumpet, played by Balkan jazz virtuoso Timotej Kotnik provides a colorful contrast to the Oud’s percussive sound, as well as expressive solos. Sergio Martinez, whose mastery of Flamenco cajon and world percussion has earned him gigs with Paul Simon, Jose Merce and Al Di Meola, brings multi-cultural grooves and multi-timbral textures to the band’s sound. Providing the sonic glue for the quartet is Miquel Alvarez, the eccentric bassist from València, whose quirky pedal board colors his Flamenco styled riffing and electric bass lines. Four songs, four musicians, and a world of sounds blend together to provide a window into Cycon’s Mediterranean life.
ALIYA CYCON PROJECT ORCHESTRA
Aliya Cycon Project Orchestra is an internationally touring project that promotes cross-cultural collaboration in a given country. During a week to a month long residency, Aliya creates an orchestra made up of the top musicians in the region and together they prepare a free public concert featuring her original compositions and arrangements of popular songs from the host country. In addition to daily rehearsals and collaborations with the orchestra, she gives free motivational music workshops to youth in the region. Past tours took place in Jordan, Tunisia and Kuwait.
Live in Amman, Jordan amphitheater
With Tunisian workshop students on Tunisia tour
Kuwait concert highlights
Rehearsing in Kuwait
PRAISE FOR ACPO AND PRAYER ALBUM
Cycon delivers a new album, Prayer, which sounds like the soundtrack to an epic theatrical journey, invoking the spirit of Middle Eastern music while incorporating jazzy rhythms helped by the band's multi-instrumental attack. Songs like "Heartbeat" and the title track showcase both Cycon's virtuosic oud playing and her skill in crafting engaging melodies and movements, while her gentle vocals lead the way on the triumphant "Motherland" and "House on the Stone." Relix Magazine
[Prayer is] an absolute masterpiece. This new release is a breath of fresh air and very unique. Indulge into a world orchestra filled with tons of strings, percussion, vocals and a crisp/powerful production. This is gorgeous all around! Wow! The Drunken Coconut
I’ve had the pleasure of watching her and her ensemble develop a unique sound that courageously traverses boundaries and musical styles. Her compositions and playing are intelligent, heartfelt, and original. I have no doubt that the music Aliya will make will have lasting impact, with potential to make a positive contribution to humanity. Amir elSaffar, Trumpet player
Aliya also performs as a solo act, just her voice and her Oud. Her solo set consists of a wide range of pieces, from upbeat and technical instrumental compositions to slow, meditative taqasim (Arabic for solo improvisations). She is known for covering famous Middle Eastern songs and singing in Arabic, as well as performing her original songs which utilize modern Oud techniques such as chords and arpeggios, and her English-language covers of songs from around the world.
“Cycon’s [oud] sometimes projects a palpable effervescence, other times an incisive ambiguity.” –DownBeat Magazine