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Bana Haffar

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.


Banna Haffar © Banna Haffar 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, بيروتقصور

By Bana Haffar, released in 2019
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"I dream in terazzo
matte, heavy with tread

random distribution
staggered rooflines

balconies, curved and alive beneath mute monoliths
oriental beauties
prosthetically intact  

indiscriminate construction
shoulder to shoulder
compressed like the folded mirrors of the parked cars that line the alleys 
every cm counts 
 
Here, people have choice
dreams as varied as the architecture that houses them

non-standardized  / non-gridded    

infinite resolution
re-construction in chaos 
 
again 

& traffic flows like a multidimensional river
laneless
marbled 
self-regulating 

cybernetic 

grids give the illusion of civilization
here, no one is pretending 
this is life post-grid    
no power, no problem
 
lines are for suckers
push

Beirut is an energy
self-determined 
invisibly agile 
fire blood muddled with kerosene of the past 
granular sectarianism woven against generational intellectualism
tight
borderless 

rich / regressive

hairspray lady
give the Givenchy to the maid

the patina is real

tears desalinated
eyes glazed westward
as I walk among palaces in the east."

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