Like Ibn Battuta’s rihla, Jordi Savall’s musical journey offers a voyage through a somewhat idealised Orient, one held to be the cradle of knowledge, culture and religion in the 14th century…Such a diverse programme and impressive cast of musicians will surely inspires every listener with a sense of wanderlust. Yet it is perhaps the subtext of this album – travelling through the world before modern borders – which is the most poignant part of Savall’s message for us today. Gramophone
According to Islam’s earliest prophetic tradition, travel as training and a source of knowledge was advocated by the prophet Mohammed himself; he urged believers to travel far and wide in their search for wisdom and knowledge. One of the quotations attributed to him is “Seek knowledge even unto China.” The reader of Ibn Battuta’s fascinating travelogue discovers and experiences the full character of this literary genre, the “rihla”, which designates both the journey and the narrative of that journey. The genre can be traced back to the writings of Ibn Jubayr (1145-1217), the first great Muslim traveller from al-Andalus (Xativa, Valencia).