Maya Youssef on Sunday 3rd June 2018
Don't miss this unique opportunity to hear Maya Youssef – internationally-renowned virtuoso player of the Syrian qanun (78-stringed plucked zither) – talk about her music, the qanun, her story and Syria, as well as playing a full set of music with her trio, featuring Barney Morse-Brown (cello) and Elizabeth Nott (percussion).
Maya is from a progressive and intellectual Damascus family of writers and artists. She began studying music at the age of 7, discovering the qanun at age 9. She has performed all over the world and is the winner of the Exceptional Talent award which enabled her to migrate to the UK early 2012.
When the war started in her homeland in 2011, she decided that making music was no longer a choice, it was a crucial means to express and come to terms with intense feelings of loss and sadness from seeing her people suffer and her land destroyed. On a hot summer’s afternoon in London in 2012 I was watching the news. In her own words, 'At the time I felt overwhelmed, as if I was going to explode, so I held my qānūn and Syrian Dreams came out of me. That was the very first piece of music I wrote.'
Her recently released debut album, Syrian Dreams, was produced by the legendary Joe Boyd and engineered by the equallity legendary Jerry Boys. It has received high critical acclaim and is a hugely important personal statement for Maya. She says, “The war started in my homeland in 2011. From that point on making music was no longer a choice, it was a crucial means to express and come to terms with intense feelings of loss and sadness from seeing my people suffer and my land destroyed. This album is my personal journey through the 6 years of war in Syria. It is a translation of my memories of home and my feelings into music.”
In Association with The Festival of Debate (www.festivalofdebate.com)
Music Genres: Classical, World Music
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