I’m in love.
I’m in love with a 59-year-old man and I don’t care. I’m in love with a 59-year-old man and I don’t care that he’s a world renowned musician and I’ll probably never meet him.
His name is Idir and I’m in love.
What is it about music that moves us? Simple melodies, the easy run of the scale, the one-two, one-two of a drum appeals to something primordial in every human being. It is as if music is woven into the fabric of creation and every organism is born into song.
Idir (his real name is Hamid Cheriet) shrouds his songs in tunes of the ancient Algerian Berber culture. With only his powerful-sweet vocals and an acoustic guitar, he is the perfect ambassador of Kabyle music, conjuring images of the Atlas Mountains, vast Saharan lands and a people and place long forgotten. It is a wonderful blend of mystery and simplicity; the factual and the unknown.
For three days Idir’s A Vava Inouva has been is playing everywhere (thank you Mr. H). In my car, in my house, on old Zenny, on my phone, in my head, in my bed and I can’t seem to get enough of him. A Vava Inouva was recorded in 1976, just a year after I was born, but unlike me, it has a timeless quality to it.
It doesn’t matter that Idir sings in a language I don’t understand about situations I don’t know because I don’t care. Something about the purity of his voice and the enigma of his sound moves me. It moves me to the land where there is no here, no me, no this, only zwit rwit.
Ya-d lawan a tulawin
Ad tserhamt i-teghratin
Kem aymma sguzyim
Zwit rwit …