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War in Syria will Change the Music

Omar Souleyman - Leh Jani

[...] Here, classical Arabic mawal-style vocalization gives way to high-octane Syrian Dabke (the regional folkloric dance and party music), Iraqi Choubi and a host of Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish styles, among others. This amalgamation is truly the sound of Syria. The music often has an overdriven sound consisting of phase-shifted Arabic keyboard solos and frantic rhythms. At breakneck speeds, these shrill Syrian electronics play out like forbidden morse-code, but the moods swing from coarse and urgent to dirgy and contemplative in the rugged anthems that comprise Souleyman’s repertoire. -Sublime Frequencies

Several hundred thousand refugees have left the US-backed violence in Syria. BBC says the number should reach 700,000 refugees by the end of 2012. Already Turkey has reached its  limit of 100,000, and in Jordan, that number is expected to climb to 250,000 by the end of the year. This massive displacement of people will undoubtedly do a mix on the music and culture of Syria. As the caption for this video above describes, the music of Omar Souleyman is a kind of geographic finger print of the diverse influences in Syrian Pop Music. How this war will change the music we wont know until the dust settles. Meanwhile, this is not to say another type of Syrian music will not arise from the refugee camps of Turkey, Jordan, or Lebanon. Maybe now as I write, a new tune is being composed. A tune that will develop from it’s extra-specific place to carry message about the Syrian situation. If we really believe in the people and their culture, we would be listening for this new tune instead of the accepting the constant spin and spectacularization of “democracy” in the main stream media.

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