New live album release today (now streaming and available via Google play) December 9th, 2016
The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians & Guests
Sisters Dissonance, as you may or may not already know, first became a thing almost 10 years ago when Ady and I combined our travels to see live music performances with our desire to document those experiences and the adventures that occurred along the way. Our driving force is and always has been to make our own fun together.
A beautiful and somewhat unexpected natural byproduct of this thing called Sis Diss, we discovered, has been the human factor. It is the connections we continue to make with people all over the world in the process of our endeavor–the artists and musicians, the fellow fans and music heads, and all of the other people whose orbits have crossed paths with ours one way or another–that is the most rewarding part of Sis Diss of all.
And so, in a world that alarmingly feels like it is becoming more and more closed, increasingly divided and in turmoil, Ady and I strive to find our place among another reality that exists. This is a reality populated with a contingent of human beings around the globe that are steadfast in countering negativity, prejudice and division by purposefully reaching out, by bringing others together, and by working toward breaking down barriers not creating new ones. A reality filled with those who are mindful of their fellow humans. Often music and art is at the center of these efforts. This is the world we at Sis Diss seek to dwell in.
It is this mindset that brings to mind a show we saw last summer, The Orchestra Of Syrian Musicians in London England. No, I was not there in person, but thanks to the wonders of the internet, through a live broadcast on YouTube, I was able to watch virtually with my sister in Philly and my friend Gina in Minneapolis, from my own living room in Cleveland as together we live tweeted and texted during throughout show. We felt part of it. London/Cleveland/Philly/Minneapolis joined in along with the thousands of others across the globe tuned in together, interacting with the folks at Africa Express themselves, who made it feel like a global party. We were there for another beautiful coming together – something that Africa Express has a knack for doing on a grand scale, this time through the collaboration of Syrian musicians and countless others who joined them.
Flash forward to three days ago when I received a message from Africa Express to say that I had won an album from Benin artists Poly-Rhythmo in yet another effort by Africa Express to connect the world through music and spread it to the world. Thrilled to bits to be a recipient, as a rabid fan of music from all over the world thanks to the introduction by a professor in a ethnomusicology class I took in college back in the early 90’s, I anxiously await expanding my musical horizons even more, and I thank Africa Express for the opportunity! I will share my thoughts on that album soon to continue the spiral of positive energy.
This brings me full circle to today, and the point of this post . . . to continue the reciprocity and join in spreading the musical love as Africa Express celebrate the release day of the resulting album of the The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians and Guests.
Following a series of acclaimed dates in the UK and Europe this summer, Africa Express today announces the release of a live album entitled Africa Express Presents… The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians & Guests. The recordings were made in June when The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, featuring current and former members of the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music, came together for the first time since the conflict in their country flared up five years ago. They were joined by artists from Britain, Syria, Algeria, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Turkey, Tunisia and the United States including Bashy, Bassekou Kouyaté, Bu Kolthoum, Damon Albarn, Eslam Jawaad, Faia Younan, Julia Holter, Malikah, Mounir Troudi, Noura Mint Seymali, Paul Weller, Rachid Taha and Seckou Keita.
Africa Express Presents… The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians & Guests will be available on CD, with a digital download/stream available via Google Play Music beginning today. An LP vinyl edition will follow in 2017.
Full tracklisting here:
1 Intro – The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians
2 3azely – The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians
3 Wild Wood – Paul Weller & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians
4 Yah Mahla El Fus’ha – Faia Younan & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians
5 Out Of Time – Damon Albarn & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians
6 Rakeb 3al Hamra – Mounir Troudi & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians
7 Feel You – Julia Holter & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians
8 Al Ajaleh – The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians feat. Bassekou Kouyaté & Seckou Keita
9 Blackbird – The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians feat. Damon Albarn & Paul Weller
10 Old Damascus – The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians
11 Richa – Noura Mint Seymali & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians
12 White Flag – Damon Albarn & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians feat. Eslam Jawaad, Malikah, Ceza & Bu Kolthoum
13 Ya Rayeh – Rachid Taha & The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians
14 Oghneyat Men Baladi – The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians
The full concert from the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre London from June 25, 2016 can be viewed here: