Fri, 26 April 19
Imagine a dialogue between East and West. A dialogue of hopes and fears, similarities and differences, histories and futures; a conversation charged with emotion and balanced with respect. Imagine scenarios that bridge gaps, forge links: the great diva Fairuz sitting in a Midwest Cafe, with Dick Dale's Misirlou on the jukebox. Ry Cooder and Abdel Wahab puffing nargileh in a sunlit courtyard deep inside a labyrinthine souq.
Think of ancient civilisations and Middle Eastern aspirations vying and blending with film noir and surf guitars, spy novels and Cold War iconography. Picture the so-called American Dream – Americana – recognising the arts, culture and wisdom of the Middle East. Recognising Syriana.
Now imagine all this given musical form by an array of instruments: the qanun, the ancient 81-string Arabic dulcimer. The double bass, an instrument at home with both Arabic and Western scales. The electric guitar – that symbol of Western popular music everywhere from Beirut to Texas. Imagine oud. Viola. Accordion. Arabic percussion. Violins, seven of them, courtesy of studio outfit the Pan Arab Strings of Damascus.
"...this artfully conceived project from former Transglobal Underground bass man Nick Page sounds like the soundtrack to some Middle East-set Cold War spy drama that was never made... the lush melodies and widescreen sweep are hard to resist." The Daily Telegraph
Syriana, then, is more than just a band. It’s a concept. An attitude. A perspective. A place where themes of tolerance, liberty and hope come wrapped in Arabic rhythms and played through a Western filter. Where free musical interaction is a given – despite the ironies bestowed by political reality. It’s a project without a single dominant instrument.
In Syriana the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.
Syriana is more than just a band. It's a concept. An attitude. A perspective. A place where themes of tolerance, liberty and hope come wrapped in Arabic rhythms and played through a Western filter. Where free musical interaction is a given - despite the ironies bestowed by political reality. It's a project without a single dominant instrument. In Syriana the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.
A digital EP featuring four tracks currently available only on the limited edition LP A Life In Film. To capture the spirit and atmosphere of the vinyl experience, we have created this special edition digital release, tracked from the vinyl master.
Ten years have passed since the mesmerizingly haunting sound of Syriana’s Road To Damascus was released. In those ten years the warfare and tragedy that has taken over Syria has affected the futures and histories of the people there, and the instigators of Syriana – Nick ‘Dubulah’ Page and Bernard O’Neill – have looked on helplessly as the civilian districts they had walked peacefully around when recording some of the original album in Damascus have been ravaged. This digital remix EP has been put together with 100% of the profits going towards International Rescue: Greece.
Fri, 26 April 19
Nusrat's concert at the festival in 1985 was the first in front of a primarily non-Asian audience
Tue, 09 April 19
A brief introduction to the music of the Sufi mystics.
Wed, 06 March 19
Exploring the lyrics of songs from the debut album by Les Amazones d'Afrique
Fri, 01 March 19