An eye-opening collaboration
With the aftershocks of the previous day's vote still reverberating across the UK, playing at the British Museum with 3 Syrian musicians as part of Refugee Week seemed the perfect way to show that we believe that everyone in every country has the right to live without fear or persecution.
Refugee Week is a national series of cultural events celebrating the contribution of refugees to the UK and raising awareness of why people seek sanctuary in other countries. For us, this meant taking to the stage with ney flute player Louai, qanun zither player Sannah, and singer Mohealdeen to perform a handful of reworked Revere tracks, a piece written by Louai, and a Syrian traditional song.
This show was a real eye opener - the way the ney flew high above the rest of the band in the cavernous space of the British Museum, the trickling, harp like timbre Sannah produced from the qanun, and Moheddin's beautiful, honest voice spiralling over the playout of What Am I If I'm Not Even Dust? These new sounds took songs we know well into exciting new territory. We are hoping to make a recording of this new insight into familiar tracks very soon - the alternate versions The Escape Artist and Last Bridge Standing both need to be heard.