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Cultural Production Fund
Music

Some musicians attempted to rediscover the sound of traditional instruments, such as the Bouzouki, or combine Syrian pop music with jazz. Others tried to capture the war in Syria through their music.
other musicians try to capture the war in Syria with music.

Ary Jan Sarhan | Jiyan© Ettijahat Independent Culture
Mohannad Nasser | L'Oud Whispers© Goethe-Institut Libanon / Alia Haju
Jiyan© Ettijahat Independent Culture

LOA Music © Ettijahat Independent Culture

Gardenia Choir | The Thousandth Night

Gardenia Choir © Ettijahat Independent Culture  A musical performance which offers a different presentation of folkloric heritage, which constitutes a crucial dimension of the collective culture of the Middle East. The performance consists of the stories of One Thousand and One Nights retold in ways that their female characters would prefer to tell them. The performance provides different explanations for the reasons behind the actions of the female protagonists beyond the prevailing patriarchal explanations. This makes them free from vulnerability and subordination and gives them different endings from the fates typically imposed on these women, thereby examining what might happen if they were given agency in creating their own stories.

Karam El-Achkar | The Opposite Trio

Karam El-Achkar © Ettijahat Independent Culture  An EP comprising three compositions by Karam El-Achkar on the flute, Omar El-Akbani on the oud and Samer El-Eid on the piano. The work aims to create a complete acoustic phenomenon as the outcome of an experiment that began in Syria in 2010. It currently takes an academic improvised form, using modern technology as a means for cooperation and artistic production, while ignoring the spatial remoteness of the members of the trio and the reasons for their remoteness, in order to build a bridge to a safer future.

Mais Harb | July

Mais Harb © Ettijahat Independent Culture  An album which showcases a range of singing styles and Syrian dialects in an artistic tour de force that combines old and new generations of music. The album exhibits a lively style that deals with culture with the ultimate aim of being heard by large numbers of people across Syria, the Levant and the Arab world.


Edition 2019

Basilius Alawad | Beyond Memories

An album that seeks to present a new musical work characterized by its oriental character and maqams, which uses the templates of classical music composition. The artist believes in the ability of these templates to contain and demonstrate musical ideas in a smooth and easy manner regardless of the identity of the listener. He hopes that this album will contribute to the spreading of Arabic music in the European community.
 

Mevan Younes | Ether

An album featuring new Buzuq compositions. It seeks to find a new resonance of the instrument through different string control and to use this new resonance in building harmonic structure of the compositions through dialogue with piano, contrabass, and percussion. The use of extended techniques appropriate to this harmony brings the album closer to contemporary art. The album is a new added value to the Buzuq and the oriental music in general.
 

Ronahi Almamo | Mulia Al-Banat

A lyrical-poetry album by Syrian Kurdish singer Ronahi Al-Mamo and Syrian Arab poet Adnan Al-Odeh. It aims to present new Syrian songs in both Arabic and Kurdish. In their music composition, the songs are based on eastern maqams and simple folk tunes associated with the daily life of the inhabitants of the Euphrates and northeastern Syria and their cultural and ethnic diversity. It also aims to rekindle the spirit of hope in the people of this region after the damage caused by three years of living under ISIS control. The album seeks to spread the spirit of tolerance and to emphasize the need for coexistence between the different components.
 


Edition 2018

Ali Asaad | Nabatie

Ali Asaad © Ettijahat Independent Culture "Nabatie" is an album of contemporary poems by Syrian poets Adnan al-Oudeh, Hani Nadim and Mousab al-Numeiri, which are sung by Syrian singer Basma Jabr. The name of the album was inspired by the Arab peoples that inhabited the Petra region and who spoke a language that linked ancient Semitic languages ​​with our present Arabic language. It is a journey to explore rhythms and instruments inspired by oriental music. The songs cover many of the dialects found in Greater Syria region, in harmony with the various styles of oriental music, all of which speak in a single oriental musical tongue.

Eyad Osman | Shamaliyat

Eyas Osman © Ettijahat Independent Culture "Shamaliyat" is a music album that presents diverse works inspired by the folk and cultural music scene of the northern region of Syria, where Bezek is a prominent instrument used to perform solos with a background of rich rhythms created within diverse different styles. The album also highlights the popular instruments of each region and contributes to introducing Bezek in a new light, away from its traditional solo performances. In this album, the Bezek is accompanied by various diverse harmonies as the composer tries to the mix Syrian folk music with the international music trends.

Youssef Kekhia | Monologue

Yousef Kekhia © Ettijahat Independent Culture "Monologue" is an album of Arabic songs that combines Western folk music with electronic music. The album deals with the artist’s reflection on his life as well as on global issues relating to our world. It discusses and poses questions about the idea of ​​nationalities and borders on a planet that is supposed to be for everyone. Monologue is the artist's journey with himself as he struggles through the experiences of illness, hope, love, and happiness.
 


Edition 2017

Faddoul Saad | Lost

Faddoul Saad © Ettijahat Independent Culture An Oud Quartet album that presents a dialogue between four ouds players to express the Syrian reality from the beginning of war until now, through projecting past events onto music. The Oud Quartet frees oriental music from monophony and introduces it in a new style, i.e. polyphony, so that the listener can enjoy the sound of an individual oud woven with many melodies from the other three ouds. While at other times, the  four Ouds play as a collective in consistent harmony.


 

Hassan Ali | Rural Cosmos

Hassan Ali © Ettijahat Independent Culture A musical album that is based on the idea of ​​merging musical and rhythmic elements of Syrian popular music into jazz music, especially the work of French violinist and musician Jean-Luc Ponty, who adopts space and science fiction as the core theme of his work. The album draws on similarities and great convergence between these two types of music, which are geographically and culturally entirely separate.


 

Milad Khawam | To the West

Milad Khawam © Ettijahat Independent Culture A project to compose and record a musical album about the stories of those who crossed the road between the East and the West, including the artist’s story. The project presents oriental trumpet music and illustrates the presence of this instrument in German and electronic music as well.




 

Omar Jammoul |
Syrian Composer's Work on the Classical Guitar

Omar Jammoul © Ettijahat Independent Culture A project to produce and record a full program of classical guitar music by Syrian composers. This program will be performed in concerts in and outside of Spain. The program consists of three sections: Section I: Guitar rendered music composed by Syrian musician Dia al-Sukkar. Section II: Original guitar music composed by Syrian guitarist Mazen Saleh. Section III: Music composed by Jammoul himself.



 


Edition 2016

Ibrahim Kadar | The Sound of an Immigrant

Ibrahim Kadar © Ettijahat Independent Culture The Sound of an Immigrant is a music piece that captures the life of Syrians before and after 2011, expressing the catastrophe Syrians went through. The piece starts with the sound of the kawala instrument and evolves into abrupt, non-harmonised tunes. The loud music captures the Syrian war and its violent effects, from internal displacement to forced immigration. This forms a rhythmic song with dancing tunes that alter between slowing down and speeding up and allow for the emergence of new tunes that use harmonic open instruments in order to express the complicated choices faced by immigrants as well as the hardships awaiting them, whether on the road, or in the countries of refuge.

Khouarif Group | Anthem of Choking

Khouarif Group © Ettijahat Independent Culture A parody of the Syrian Baath Party anthem, Anthem of Choking is a music video that aims to access Syrians’ unconscious collective memory - cultivated by Baath Party propaganda - to alter it revealing the truth about the party. The choice of the Baath Party anthem is to show the similarities between the behaviour of party members before the Syrian revolution and that of some politicians and activists working within the revolution. The video shows a timeline of the last six years satirically highlighting how some individuals exploited the current situation to further their interests.

Mohannad Nasser | L'Oud Whispers

Mohannad Nasser © Ettijahat Independent Culture “L’Oud whispers” reflects our daily contradiction we face as musicians while trying to raise the sound of our music to take over the sound of war. The project features several compositions written for acoustic oud and oriental percussion composed by Syrian Oud virtuoso Mohannad Nasser and accompanied by Ramy al-Jundi (riqq, daf, darbuka, cajon). The compositions have been written in Lebanon and reflect the journey of the composer between Damascus and Beirut while looking for relative safety.
 


Edition 2015

Ary Jan Sarhan | Jiyan

Ary Jan Sarhan © Ettijahat Independent Culture The album entitled "Jiyan" includes musical works that showcase the various possibilities of the Buzuq family in a new and contemporary style that drifts away from traditional approaches and delves into the realm of experimentation with a number of other instruments, including guitar and accordion. "Jiyan" also includes a number of re-arranged classical Kurdish elegies sung in a new form, in addition to new Syrian songs. The Buzuq, which is essential in the composition of the album's melodies and musical arrangement, is used in a new light as a means of searching for a new structure of the Syrian song, and enriching the regional musical scene with original Syrian songs that reflect the daily lives of people under the current circumstances. The album seeks to explore the possibilities of the Buzuq through Buzuq-inspired music, and to revive an important part of Syrian heritage in all its richness and peculiarity.

Hisham Naddaf | The Explosion

Hisham Naddaf © Ettijahat Independent Culture “The Explosion” is an orchestral recording project named after the general situation in Syria and the region, especially relating to Homs during the Syrian crisis. The work expresses the psychology of individuals with dual value systems, as well as the loss of certain components of society and the effect on individuals this has with ensuing changes in identity.



 


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Disclaimer

The project descriptions were written by the artists themselves. The content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Goethe-Institut.

 

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