Babylon Orchestra Babylon Orchestra
- 1Babylonia Paranoia 06:50
- 2Bad Bargain 07:20
- 3Mole Chants 01:40
- 4Hamudi 03:54
- 5Arabesca Romanesca 04:23
- 6Between Carthage and Rome 08:18
- 7Frah el Donniye 05:24
- 878 Sky 08:29
- 9Reborn 03:49
- 10Üsküdare feat. Rebal Alkhodari 05:19
- 11Bazar 02:50
- 12Nour 05:21
Info for Babylon Orchestra
The goal of Babylon ORCHESTRA, since its founding in 2016, has been to create a fresh sound that speaks to Berlin’s multicultural society. Conversations between the traditional sounds of the Middle East and the musical cultures of Europe emerge during performance, all while keeping the focus on urban elements of the Berlin music scene. At the heart of this unusual big band set-up is its ability to blur the line between the “foreign” and the familiar, creating a musical style that places the emphasis on connecting rather than separating. Babylon ORCHESTRA demonstrates how the bridge between artistic and creative collaboration provides a space for harmonious, respectful and peaceful exchange between cultures. This is the key to helping new artistic forms emerge.
The original pieces written for the orchestra have evolved over time and now make up the core tracks of their debut album of the same name, reflecting on the discoveries the group has made since it came together.
And what about the sound? Moving vocals from Kurdish-Persian-born Hani Mojtahedy and Syrian Rebal Alkhodari, the soulful playing of Osama Abdulrasol on the quanoon and Mohannad Nasser on the oud, or even the magic of the violinists Layale Chaker and Maias Alyamani, give you some idea what it’s all about. Recorded by 20 musicians from nine different countries, this album is a symbolic milestone for the multicultural ensemble, embarking on an exciting path that has only just begun.
A powerful, emotive song, “Nour” is based on a poem by the famous poet Forugh Farrochzād, Iran's most famous voice in modern poetry. In a life cut short following a tragic accident, she openly sang about self-determination, freedom and love. Together with the Persian singer Hani Mojtahedy, who composed the vocals, Mischa Tangian has written a contemporary song that mixes traditional Kurdish vocals with electronic orchestral music. The piece is a fusion of electric guitars and sounds of the synthesizer with classical and traditional elements.
The following is a short, translated excerpt from the text: “The crazy ego screams and struggles inside me, looking for an opening to escape. Our roots in darkness, our hearts fruits of light, we saturated each other with springs from distant gardens.”
When violinist and composer Mischa Tangian and arts manager Sofia Surgutschowa brought the Babylon ORCHESTRA project to light in early 2016, the main idea was to welcome refugee musicians to Berlin and give them a platform for their art. What began as a social project, quickly grew into something that has challenged their personal limits and defied what they thought was possible. But rather than worrying about it, they just did what they do best: making music and supporting musicians. This only proves that the phrase “We can do it” that had become so well-known at the time, could have many meanings. Bit by bit, an orchestra emerged, whose members were united by a love for the cultures of the world, as well as an openness and an insatiable urge to discover new things and create innovative artistic forms, capable of transcending all borders. And for several years now they have been on an adventurous odyssey through previously unknown cultures. Together, they have engaged in an intimate dialogue with remarkable guest soloists from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Europe, sharing with audiences the orchestra’s motto: More respect, more culture – and more music! The group has already performed in many renowned Berlin venues, including the Komische Oper, the HAU (Hebbel am Ufer), the Deutsche Oper, the Volksbühne and Heimathafen Berlin. They have also performed alongside the Grandbrothers at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, and the Festival Mozaique and De Doelen in Rotterdam.