This special evening will feature two pieces of music from each of the seven countries that are part of the Jan 27 travel ban. The songs may be religious, secular or folk, but in every case will showcase the most-loved, most-typical music from each country — the music that makes people think of home. Translations of each song will be projected on a screen for the audience.
Performed by internationally renowned and local musicians, the concert will express the complexity and many cultural layers of the seven countries Libya, Yemen, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan– with music acting as ambassador from these countries to our own. Instrumentally and vocally the music will present the different tonal systems/modes and rhythmic structures in the music, which highlight the countries rich cultural, social, religious, and artistic traditions.
“Music is a microcosm of a culture: it is the element that accompanies most rituals and rites. Its rhythmic structures are the pulse, its tonal/melodic structures are the soul, and its poetry is the language of the heart and mind. We are convinced that once one has experienced the artistic richness of another culture, they are much less likely to dehumanize them by seeing them through media-propagated stereotypes.” -Nabila Mango, Aswat Ensemble Director
The Aswat (meaning voices in Arabic) Ensemble uses bowed and stringed instruments along with percussion; such as the violin, oud, qanun, tar and other drums. The performers include Iranian, Arab and American musicians.