Syrian Cassette Archives أرشيف الشرائط السورية
An evening celebrating the launch of Syrian Cassette Archives, an initiative to preserve, share and research analogue music tapes from Syria’s abundant cassette era (1980s to 2010). Featuring live music of Syrian composer and producer Rizan Sa’id, singer Mamoun Hamada, Omid Suleiman at the bouzouk and Anas Moubayed at the darbouka and tabla, cassette and vinyl dj sets by Mark Gergis & Yamen Mekdad, complemented by a discussion with the Syrian Cassette Archives team, moderated by ethnomusicologist and archivist Farah Zahra.
Syrian Cassette Archives is an initiative aiming to preserve, share and research sounds and stories from the cassette era (1980s-2000s) in Syria. At the heart of the initial collection are cassette tapes acquired by audio-archivist Mark Gergis during multiple stays in Syria between 1997 and 2010. The tapes weren't collected with the intention of forming a comprehensive overview of Syrian music or becoming a public archive. Instead, the collection reflects a period of personal research and exploration, aided by connections made with local music shops, producers and musicians during the time. The material is broad in scope and features an overview of musical styles from Syriaʼs many communities, including Syrian Arabs, Assyrians, Kurds and Armenians, as well as Iraqis displaced by sanctions and wars throughout the 1990s-2000s. Amongst the tapes are recordings of live concerts, studio albums, soloists, classical, religious, patriotic and childrenʼs music, with a special focus on the regional dabke and shaabi folk-pop music, performed and recorded at weddings, parties and festivities.
A project by Mark Gergis
In co-operation with Heike Albrecht and Yamen Mekdad
In co-production with Akademie der Künste, Berlin, in the framework of “Arbeit am Gedächtnis – Transforming Archives”
With the support of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC
Supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin and Gwärtler Stiftung