Thursday, April 21, 2016

Rock Musician Raises Hope w/ Pre-War Sights and Sounds of Syria @ Irma Freeman @ GA/GI

Long before Syria was the focus of war and hateful rhetoric, it was a destination for travel, relaxation and meditation. We would all do well to remember this. Jason Hamacher, a Washington, DC photographer, was in Allepo, Syria from 2005-2010 which at that time, was known as the historical place for the convening of the world's three largest religions. In Allepo stood the oldest Christian church, Muslim mosque, and Jewish synagogue. Since 2010, every one of them has been destroyed.

On May 6 at the Irma Freeman Center, Jason Hamacher, owner of Lost Origins, brings the sights, sounds and  music of this timeless, near gone era into sharp focus, through his vivid photography, and the recordings of religious chants and music. Much of this, unfortunately, is near extinction due to the climate of the Syrian nation and the disinterest of young people in carrying on traditions.

Pre-war Allepo
"My heavy metal band started out just wanting to write rock music to old religious chants," said the musician, who has since received support from the Syrian Embassador in Washington, DC. "But we quickly went from Rock innovationists to religious music preservationists."

"It was ambitious, but humble proposal," said Ahmed Salkini, from the Syrian Embassy, " However when people realized this is the language of Jesus Christ (Aramaic), I'm not surprised by the project's on-going success."
Displaying Aleppo 4.jpg

Displaying Aleppo 4.jpg
Hamacher, who admits he started out with very selfish motives, now feels compelled to faithfully record hours upon hours of sacred music that has never been documented, most of it unabridged. There are over 900 chants in the Aramaic Treasury of Chants. If listened to from start to finish, Hamacher's recordings spans over 23 hours. Oddly, even at the break of the 21st century, there were no formal recordings of this important sacred music, and even today some chants can not be performed by more than three people in Syria, let alone the world. Thanks to Hamacher, this critical connection to the early church, some chants going back to the fourth century, will not be lost.

Hamacher wants: "People of faith, people of no faith, people period, to sit down and listen to the authentic sounds of a nearly lost culture...before its too late." 

The exhibition: Witness Aleppo: Photographs, Stories and Sounds of Pre-War Syria, is currently on view at the Irma Freeman Center (5006 Penn Avenue), curated by Jack Ball, Co-owner of the Bantha Tea Bar. Friday, May 6 from 7-10 pm @ GA/GI Festival will be the closing reception. For more information visit here.

Keep watching our blog for new posts and event updates!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks! We invite your comments!