Syrian Symphony: New Compositions in Sight and Sound

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Exhibitions Toronto, ON, Canada May 20, 2017 - August 13, 2017

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The Aga Khan Museum opens Syrian Symphony: New Compositions in Sight and Sound, an immersive, interactive and multi-sensory portrayal of the current situation in Syria, presented in association with Silkroad, the arts organization established by cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

True to its name, Syrian Symphony orchestrates music, painting and media arts by some of Syria’s leading artists and musicians. Similar to an orchestral symphony, the soundscape of the exhibition is divided into four distinct yet connected “movements”:

  • A collaboration between visual artist Kevork Mourad and composer/clarinettist Kinan Azmeh.
  • The juxtaposition of paintings created before and in reaction to the Syrian civil war by Syrian artists with virtuoso pianist Malek Jandali’s modern adaptation of the Hurrian Hymn (the oldest known written piece of music).
  • A virtual re-creation of monuments in the Syrian city Palmyra,recorded by drones just days after ISIS devastated the ancient site, set to a soundscape recorded by the Silk Road Ensemble.

Two interactive installations including photographic portraits of newly arrived Syrians and their Canadian host families and a collaborative textile where visitors can select and tie pictograms onto frames, both set to music created by a recently arrived Syrian couple.

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