Fawaz Baker – oud, vocal
Samir Homsi – percussions, vocal
The passing on of music from one musician to another and from one soul to another continues, echoing ancient melodies that used to be heard throughout the city, in churches and cafes; in the mosques and courtyards of stone-carved buildings. These tunes, in Arabic, Syriac, Armenian, Turkish and Kurdish, have been passed down from one generation to the next, their beauty serving as the sole weapon against falling into oblivion.
Their one common denominator is, for Fawaz Baker, their constant innovation within the constraints of traditional structure. Eastern music offers myriad possibilities in terms of rhythm, melody and improvisation. It is what is referred to as modal music: composed of musical phrases, not tones or notes like most compositions in the West since the eighteenth century. Eastern sound is based on improvisation and polyphony; a freedom that allows two melodies to evolve simultaneously within a complex architecture, letting each musician interpret and improvise. How, then, might a balance be struck between written and improvised music, between modal and tonal? The challenge is no small feat, but it does illustrate how music – and art in general – is capable of creating a dialogue between contradictory forces, one where ideology falls short.
is a bass player, double-bassist, guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer. Ecuadorian by birth, brought up to Afro-Latin rhythms and Andean melodies, she arrived in France in 2003 and has since developed many international projects, for which she mixes the music of her upbringing with jazz in her compositions and arrangements. Her openness and taste for improvisation, her musical encounters allow her to navigate through eclectic worlds: Latin, jazz, folk, world music, rock and contemporary music. She has been teaching at the Conservatoire d’Evry since 2011.
is a guitarist and versatile musician who performs with various groups between Paris and Toulouse (Isiak, Helvetian On the Ground). Her early training as a jazz guitarist and her eclectic musical tastes led her to work on a variety of repertoires, ranging from gypsy jazz and New Orleans styles (Pigalle Swing, Dixaswing), as well as traditional music from Latin America (Cumbia Ya, Guaguita).
She honed her multi-instrumental skills (Venezuelan cuatro, Cuban tres, bass, percussion, cello) which she developed for the theater (Compagnie du Peuple lié) in particular. She also teaches and supervises workshops for people with autism through the Irimi-Vivace association.
is a highly-talented Syrian percussionist living in Paris. He studied Arabic music and the Oud and percussion instruments in his home country. He has taken part in numerous festivals in France, Belgium, Spain, Algeria and Morocco. Samir has played with the singer Sapho, IbrahimMaalouf, the violinist Safwan Kenani, the Palestinian singer MoneimAdwan and the Alquds troupe.
From the Tabla to the Djembe by way of the Qanun, bendir, riq and bongo: what is striking about all the instruments he has mastered is how the great richness and diversity of his percussion enhances the groups he plays with.
A lifelong musician, Fawaz Baker was a professional architect before devoting himself exclusively to music. From accompanying singers on the accordion as a child, to the keyboards and then double bass, he has explored various music spaces (hard rock, jazz, blues) and devoted years to studying musicology and the multiple influences of Aleppine music (Ottoman, Iranian, Armenian, Indian and Central Asian, including the Sufi tradition). The war ended up tearing this Oud player away from hometown and from everything he had built, though he has long sought to continue in solidarity with his people: he led the Aleppo Conservatory of Music for several years where, he said, «the greatest challenge was composing between the teaching of Western classical music and that of traditional Eastern music.» Beyond the joy and sadness, the music allows him to build new sentiments and create a new memory. As part of his commitment, Fawaz Baker spends much of his time in Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon passing on his passion for music to children, showing them how to re-learn silence, far from the noise of war. He is an associate artist at Quartz in Brest until 2020.
Set duration : 1h15
Audience capacity : unlimited