Chamber Music

Unterwegs: in the Near East

Due to illness, Roger Willemsen will unfortunately be unable to present the “Underway” concert series. The events will however take place as planned. We will inform you here once we know who is going to take over the presentation of the concerts. The musical guests in Roger Willemsen’s Unterwegs world music series are border crossers in several respects – between eastern and western cultures, as well as between old and modern times. Kamilya Jubran, Saad Thamir and their ensembles, as well as the Lebanese singer Ghada Shbeir, combine Arabic music with stylistic elements of western classical music. With their compositions and improvisations, they bring home how old, almost extinct musical traditions can be filled with new life.

N. N. Presentation

Lagash:

Saad Thamir Vocals, Frame Drums and Composition

Bassem Hawar Djoze (Iraqui Knee Violin) and Violin

Dietmar Fuhr Double Bass

Christina Fuchs Clarinet and Bass Clarinet

Jarry Singla Piano

Ghada Shbeir Vocals

Ensemble Kamilya Jubran & Sarah Murcia:

Kamilya Jubran Oud, Vocals and Arstitic Direction

Sarah Murcia Double Bass

Régis Huby Violin

Guillaume Roy Viola

Atsushi Sakaï Cello

Part 2: Underway in the Middle East

Dates and Tickets

Programme

“I take an ancient piece of material and sew a new shirt out of it.” What may at first seem like a statement about fashion is actually Iraqi composer Saad Thamir’s artistic credo. He founded the group Lagash, a chamber music ensemble for contemporary Iraqi music, in 2002. The name refers to the Lower Mesopotamian city of Lagash, which was a major centre of Sumerian culture 5,000 years ago. From a musical perspective, however, the group is anything but backward-looking. The members of the ensemble, which, besides the two Iraqi musicians Saad Thamir and Bassem Hawar, includes the German clarinettist Christina Fuchs and Dietmar Fuhr on the double bass as well as German-Indian pianist Jarry Singla, combine the melodies and rhythms of Arabic music with western classical music and jazz. The result: a highly original style in which Arabic scales and modes are mixed with western harmony.

The oud player and singer Kamilya Jubran also considers herself someone who moves between the Orient and the Occident. The daughter of a Palestinian instrument maker and music pedagogue was born into the conflict between her people and Israel. Music helped her first and foremost to deal with the trauma of this war: “I am looking for honest music. I want to depict myself and my life.” The artist now lives and works in Paris and Berne. Rooted in the Palestinian music tradition, she experiments with new, contemporary sounds. Kamilya Jubran, Saad Thamir and their ensembles, as well as the Lebanese singer Ghada Shbeir, a specialist in the popular and religious songs of the Near East, are the guests at this concert in the Unterwegs series. With their compositions and improvisations, they bring home how old, almost extinct musical traditions can be filled with new life.