The Arab Avant-Garde
Music, Politics, Modernity
Publication Year: 2013
Chapters delve into genres and modes as diverse as jazz, musical theatre, improvisation, hip hop, and heavy metal as performed in countries like Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and the United States. Focusing on multiple ways in which the "Arab avant-garde" becomes manifest, this anthology brings together international writers with eclectic disciplinary trainings--practicing musicians, area studies specialists, ethnomusicologists, and scholars of popular culture and media. Contributors include Sami W. Asmar, Michael Khoury, Saed Muhssin, Marina Peterson, Kamran Rastegar, Caroline Rooney, and Shayna Silverstein, as well as the editors.
Published by: Wesleyan University Press
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The Arab Avant-Garde
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A Note on Transliteration Introduction: “Arab” + “Avant-Garde”
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From alexandrian female heavy metallers and Beiruti jazz trumpeters who sample the noises of warfare to migrants into the avant-garde enclaves of europe and north america, arab culture has long offered up a wealth of exciting, challenging, and varied musics. Theirs is not a singular scene, a coherent body of interconnected performers. rather, the sheer breadth of ...
PART I: ALTERNATIVE MODERNITIES: NORMS AND INNOVATIONS
1. Transforming Space: The Production of Contemporary Syrian Art Music
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...and he soon mixed with the fledgling classical music enthusiasts and other members of a revolutionary movement with a love for the fine arts, people like sadek Faroun and rafah Qasawat. . . . sadek and rafah played the violin while solhi played the viola and conducted. They persevered and eventually, with 3 instruments, played the introduction to Boieldieu’s “calif of Bagdad” and the ...
2. Balancing Integration and Disintegration: Amir Elsaffar and the Contingent Avant-Garde
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The avant-garde is so constitutive to our notions of modernity and culture that rarely is this term subjected to systematic definition within academic discourse. in this, the avant-garde is a key paradigm of the notion of cul-tural modernity; to define it would require stepping outside the epistemic boundaries of modernity and postmodernity. This is not to say that attempts ...
3. Multisited Avant-Gardes or World Music 2.0? Musicians from Beirut and Beyond between Local Production and Euro-American Reception
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The latest tracks, songs, sound montages, and noises from the arab world, asia, africa, and latin america seem to contain revolutionary meanings. on theoretical grounds, these musics suggest reconfigurations of “modernity.” They are small but passionate attempts to reshape the world into a place where “modernity” is not “euro-modernity” or “euro-american modernity” but ...
PART II: ROOTS AND ROUTES
4. The “People’s Artist” and the Beginnings of the Twentieth-Century Arab Avant-Garde
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This chapter concerns a musician who lived a few months short of thirty-one years (1892–1923). sayyed Darwish grew up in poverty and held a day job as a laborer. at the age of sixteen, he was “discovered” and, from there, went on to change the face, and some of the internal organs, of arab music forever.Darwish’s life coincided with great social and political change in his home-...
5. Challenging the Status Quo in War-Torn Lebanon: Ziad Rahbani, the Avant-Garde Heir to Musical Tradition
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...sometimes music history evolves predictably, sometimes it takes unexpected paths. When one of the arab World’s most prominent composers, the late ‘assi1 rahbani of lebanon, married the preeminent singer Fairuz,2 it came as no surprise that their son, Ziad3 rahbani, would turn out to be a talented artist who would make a significant mark on the history of arab arts. But ...
6. A Look at Lightning: The Life and Compositions of Halim El-Dabh
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...as an agricultural engineer, halim el-Dabh met with physicists and engineers to find a way to use sound and light to divert the flight path of bees away from crops—sound as repellant. There must be a way to apply these tech-niques to music and composition, he thought. his explorations into sound and agriculture carried over into recording and processing the sounds of his ...
PART III: POLITICAL DEPLOYMENTS OF THE AVANT-GARDE
7. Sonic Cosmopolitanisms: Experimental Improvised Music and a Lebanese-American Cultural Exchange
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...in February 2007, five lebanese musicians traveled to the united states to perform with american musicians and dancers as part of the Tabadol Project. With funding from the u.s. Department of state, the Tabadol Project was cultural diplomacy as cultural exchange, a project of international under-standing through the arts. “Tabadol,” the american organizer explained to ...
8. Activism and Authenticity: Palestinian and Related Hip-Hop in an International Frame
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First, a shimmering cymbal sound with two soft beats from the kick drum over a dark screen bearing the film’s title: Local Angel (2002).2 The film be-gins with this pause, and then all of a sudden there is a violent explosion of sound synced to flashing strobe lights. The sound and the images reveal a drummer’s body pounding out a fast and relentless 4/4 beat formation with ...
9. Noise and Its Formless Shadows: Egypt’s Extreme Metal as Avant-Garde Nafas Dawsha
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...in january 1997, egyptian authorities jailed nearly one hundred egyptian university students, all part of the local metal scene.1 The event registered briefly in Western newspapers, which portrayed the curiosity of a conflict between young egyptians a decade late to the heavy metal trend and a bum-bling government overly suspicious of Westernisms (Daniszewski 1997; jehl ...
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...el-Dabh, halim. Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. columbia records. el-Dabh, halim. Crossing into the Electric Magnetic. Without Fear recordings. 2000: el-Dabh, halim. Here History Began. ministry of culture and national Guidance. el-Dabh, halim. Ptahmose and the Magic Spell, Part One: The Osiris Ritual. el-Dabh, halim. Sounds of New Music. Folkways records. 1957: united states...
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Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Music Culture