Concert: Aleppo-Brest, in Manchester — Fawaz Baker Ensemble
- Sat 02 Nov 2019
- 9:00 pm
Aleppo – Brest, in Manchester, Fawaz Baker Ensemble
Part of Celebrating Syria Festival 2019
For the full festival programme, please visit celebratingsyria.org
The passing on of music from one musician to another and from one soul to another continues, echoing ancient melodies that used to be heard throughout the city, in churches and cafes; in the mosques and courtyards of stone-carved buildings. Those tunes, in Arabic, Syriac, Armenian, Turkish and Kurdish, have been passed down from one generation to the next, their beauty serving as the sole weapon against falling into oblivion.
Their one common denominator is, for Fawaz Baker, their constant innovation within the constraint soft traditional structure. Eastern music offers a myriad of possibilities in terms of rhythm, melody and improvisation. It is what is referred to as modal music, composed of musical phrases, not tones or notes like most compositions in the West since the eighteenth century. Eastern sound is based on improvisation and polyphony; a freedom that allows two melodies to evolve simultaneously within a complex architecture, letting each musician interpret and improvise. How, then, might a balance be struck between written and improvised music, between modal and tonal? The challenge is no small feat, but it does illustrate how music and art in general – is capable of creating a dialogue between contradictory forces, one where ideology falls short.
A lifelong musician, Fawaz Baker was a professional architect before devoting himself exclusively to music. From accompanying singers on the accordion as a child, to the keyboards and then double bass, he has explored various mu- sic spaces (hard rock, jazz, blues) and devoted years to studying musicology and the multiple influences of Aleppine music (Ottoman, Iranian, Armenian, Indian and Central Asian, including the Sufi tradition). The war ended up tea-ring this Oud player away from hometown and from everything he had built, though he has long sought to continue in solidarity with his people: he led the Aleppo Conservatory of Music for several years where, he said, «the greatest challenge was composing between the teaching of Western classical music and that of traditional Eastern music.» Beyond the joy and sadness, the music allows him to build new sentiments and create a new memory. As part of his commitment, Fawaz Baker spends much of his time in Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon passing on his passion for music to children, showing them how to re-learn silence, far from the noise of war. He is an associate artist at Quartz in Brest until 2020.
Ticket Policy (Pay as you can)
We are committed to making Celebrating Syria Festival accessible to all. For each ticketed event (except the two sold by HOME box office) three different prices are available, following the ‘solidarity economy’ approach.
The highest price is intended for high waged, the middle price for medium waged and the lowest price (always £1) for low waged or unwaged. As usual, asylum seekers can attend all events for free. This means you can choose the price that works for you. By choosing a higher price, if you can afford it, you are supporting the festival and enabling lower earners to attend festival events.
We base our ticketing structure on trust, so no evidence of income is required!
This event is free for asylum seekers, but please book your place.