The 2023 Summer Academy will be exploring sound as a medium; the act of collecting, recording, and broadcasting.
The facilitator-led workshops and listening sessions consist of conceptual, theoretical, and practical work allowing for a deeper understanding of sound, music, and the sonic experience. Participants will have a chance to learn from experts in the field, including Yara Makawei, Khyam Allami, Joe Namy, and Radio AlHara.
The summer academy requires no previous experience in sound production or music-making, and is suitable for contemporary artists, performers, musicians, researchers, art students, or anyone interested in the subject and its broader cultural and political applications and concerns.
The program will consist of in-person workshop sessions, talks, and three live performances by our guest facilitators. Attendance of all sessions is mandatory.
The 2023 summer academy is curated by Rana Beiruti and Ahmad Ameen, and includes a collaboration with Radio Alhara.
Part I: Recording and Mapping
Facilitated by Yara Mekawei
The academy will start with an exploration of the art of recording ambient sounds from different locations and using them to build a sound map of field records. They will learn how to use various recording equipment to capture different types of sounds and how to edit and manipulate them using digital tools. Participants will learn how to analyze and interpret sound to create a sonic representation of the different locations and sounds recorded, and how to translate that to audiences.
As an artist and scholar, Yara Mekawei’s sonic bricolages draw inspiration from the dynamic flow of urban centers and the key infrastructure of cities. Being interested in the philosophy of architecture, social history, and philosophical literature, her work is based on sound as an essential tool of vision. The philosophy of her compositions is shaped by sophisticated practices that convey messages in the conceptual dimension to the public. She is currently working on a sonic composition based on the literature of the Sufi philosophy and the methodology of the Book of the Dead.
Part II: Sounding an Arabic Imaginary
Facilitated by Khyam Allami
What must be negotiated when considering a culturally-situated creative practice? This practical and theoretical workshop will question the process of creating Arabic music and sound art from conception to actualization. Through active discussions and exercises, the participants will be invited to interrogate sound-making through a creolizing and decolonial lens.
Khyam Allami is an Iraqi-British multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, researcher, and founder of Nawa Recordings. His artistic research and practice explores experimental composition and improvisation based on and inspired by the fundamentals of Arabic music and culture. Recent works include Requiem for the 21st Century, an immersive Oud-based installation for Opera North (UK), Ma-a aba ud mena gin Ma-a di-di-in, a string quartet for JACK quartet (US), and Apotome, a collaborative project with Counterpoint Studio which was awarded the inaugural Isao Tomita Special Prize at Ars Electronica 2021 (AT). He holds a BA and Masters in Ethnomusicology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (UK), and a PhD in experimental Arabic music composition from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University (UK).
Part III: Acoustic Commons
Facilitated by Joe Namy
This practical workshop will engage participants in exercises focused on the acoustic commons, looking into the history, politics, and subversion of sounds in public spaces and their relationship to laws, heritage, and economy.
Joe Namy is an artist, composer, and educator often working collaboratively through the intersections of sound, video, performance, and sculpture. Their projects often focus on the politics of music and organized sound, such as the pageantry and power of opera, the noise laws and gender dynamics of bass, the colors and tones of militarization, the migration patterns of instruments and songs, and the complexities of translation in all this - from language to language, from score to sound, from drum to dance. Joe holds a monthly DJ residency Rhythm x Rhythm on Radio Alhara, is a Sundance/Time Studios Kendeda fellow, and a PhD researcher at the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford.
Session with Radio Alhara: On Creating a Sonic Public Space
Radio Alhara is a Palestinian online radio station broadcasting from Bethlehem since its launch in March 2020. The station grew to public notoriety when it launched a solidarity campaign with protests surrounding the Sheikh Jarrah controversy, which it termed the "Sonic Liberation Front." In addition to radio shows broadcast in solidarity with international movements for self-determination, the station raises awareness around the civil and human rights issues facing Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Radio Alhara has received support from a global coalition of musicians and its shows have been syndicated on stations internationally.
The summer academy is open to applicants from Jordan or Palestine. Only 10 participants will be selected. Selected participants from outside Amman are expected to pay their travel costs to/from Amman. For participants from outside Amman, a per diem and shared accommodation will be offered in one of our residency flats.
The program will be bilingual, so knowledge of English and Arabic is preferred.
Applicants are expected to submit a letter of intent, a project proposal they wish to develop throughout the academy, a portfolio of previous works, and information on any experience in sound or music.
Applications will be accepted through 1o June 2023, (23:59 Amman time).
The Summer Academy program will take place from 1 - 31 July, 2023. An introductory session will be given on the 25th of June. Participants are expected to commit to the conversation by attending all sessions. Sessions will be mostly held on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays of each week, from 10 am to 3 pm. Precise schedule to be shared with accepted students.
DARAT AL FUNUN
Darat al Funun is a home for the arts and artists from the Arab world. We trace our beginnings to 1988 and are now housed in six renovated historical buildings from the 1920s and 30s, with a restored archaeological site in the garden. We aim to provide a platform for contemporary Arab artists, to support art practices and artistic exchange, to stimulate critical discourse, and to research, document, and archive Arab art.