Bana Haffar is an electronic musician specializing in modular synthesis and field recording. By switching from ten years of electric bass to modular synthesizers in 2014, Bana attempted to dismantle years of institutional "conditioning" in traditional systems of music theory and performance.
A lifelong expatriate, Bana was born in Saudi Arabia in 1987 and spent much of her childhood in the GCC. She studied contemporary music and composition in Nancy, France and Los Angeles, California. She currently lives between Asheville and Beirut with active connections to Los Angeles, Joshua Tree, and Berlin.
She has released music with Touch, Vent, and Make Noise records and composed for Grammy-winning percussion quartet Third Coast Percussion.
Bana practices field recording and synthesis as a means of connecting to her diasporic Palestinian, Syrian, and Turkish origins. The process of searching for, collecting, processing, and reclaiming meaningful and culturally significant sonic material is one of the strategies she hopes will help her and those in similar states of cultural limbo to excavate the past in order to unify with it.
Castles in Beirut, بيروتقصورBy Bana Haffar, released in 2019
matte, heavy with tread
balconies, curved and alive beneath mute monoliths
shoulder to shoulder
compressed like the folded mirrors of the parked cars that line the alleys
non-standardized / non-gridded
& traffic flows like a multidimensional river
grids give the illusion of civilization
here, no one is pretending
this is life post-grid
no power, no problem
Beirut is an energy
fire blood muddled with kerosene of the past
granular sectarianism woven against generational intellectualism
rich / regressive
give the Givenchy to the maid
the patina is real
eyes glazed westward
as I walk among palaces in the east."