The Open University
Syrian ensemble - (295.96 MB)

Music in the Time of Covid: We Carry On

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posted on 2022-10-20, 13:25 authored by Ahmad Al-rashidAhmad Al-rashid

The London Syrian Ensemble is a powerful collective of some of the Damascus Conservatoire’s finest musicians. Now based in the UK, these artists mix traditional Middle Eastern instruments – ney (flute), kanun (zither) and oud (lute) with violins, violas, double bass, percussion, and stunning guest vocalists. Their powerful rhythms and impassioned maqams are derived from Syrian musical tradition, creating a truly unique cultural experience. Using their very individual sound, the ensemble skilfully recreates both twentieth-century Syrian classics as well as modern-day music in the form of instrumental pieces, improvisations and songs ranging artfully in emotional depth. Covid-19 has made it challenging for them to get together in person and most of their activities have been moved online, but they recently performed live again in Milton Keynes.


This material is part of the Covid Chronicles from the Margins project, funded by The Open University and The Hague. The project aims to highlight the impact of the pandemic on refugees, asylum seekers & undocumented migrants.

This item can also be found on the Covid Chronicles website.