When Music Enchants

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“I feel that music on the screen can seek out and intensify the inner thoughts of the characters. It can invest a scene with terror, grandeur, gaiety, or misery. It can propel narrative swiftly forward, or slow it down. It often lifts mere dialogue into the realm of poetry. Finally, it is the communicating link between the screen and the audience, reaching out and enveloping all into one single experience.”

Film composer Bernard Herrmann.

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The Dance

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The Dabke is an Arabic folk dance that started in the mountainous regions above the Mediterranean coastline and the Tigriss River. It is of possible Canaanite or Phoenician origin. According to some sources the Phoenicians were the first teachers of the dance in the world, and the Dabke is a representative descendant of the Phoenician dances.

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The Voice of Beirut

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Beirut windows slowly awaken

Houses piled up one on top of the other,

Whatever she does complements her

Together we live,

Each one on his own window

And life is ahead of us with its flowers and thorns

Beirut windows slowly awaken

Read in her coffee cups and tell me what do you foresee for her

She has seen a lot

Sweet days and sour ones

She doesn’t get enough of legends and life is still at its beginning

Beirut windows awaken slowly

Our stories hanging on clothesline, forgotten,

Colorful canvases on grey rooftops

Beirut windows slowly awaken

She stands in the early morning light

And puts kohol in her eyes

Someone will definitely drop by to visit her

And the sea with its ebbs and tides

Never tires and never stops

And no matter how old she gets

Only he is affectionate towards her

(lyrics translated from her song Shababik Beirut _ Beirut’s Windows)

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The Disc Jockey

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Crisp sounds displayed, tweaked, collaged, and delectably consumed, stretch our ears to a vast hungering palette. Vibrations lead to the tingling mind’s inevitable response, guiding the body through its purity of sound. Hums and hisses are overshadowed by the DJ’s track. Lasers lights dance over the vast sweating fans. The floor is a rhythmic sea of flesh. Dance steps balanced by the DJ’s meticulous craft, as a wave of bodies succumbs to her vibrant enchanting mix, blending together as fans dance the night away.

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The Voice of Belonging

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I long for my mother’s bread

And my mother’s coffee

And my mother’s touch…

My childhood grows within me

Day after day

I love my life because

If I died,

I would be embarrassed by my mother’s tears

Take me, if I return one day

As a scarf for your lashes

And cover my bones with grass

Baptized by the purity of your heel

Tie me up

With a lock of hair

With a thread that points to the tail of your dress

Perhaps I will become a god

A god I would become

If I felt the bottom of your heart

Put me, if I return

As fuel to light your fire

And a wash-line on your house’s roof

Because I’ve lost my strength to stand

Without the prayer of your day

I’ve grown old… return the stars of childhood

So I can share with the sparrow chicks

The way back

To the nest of your waiting

(translation of the song Oummi)

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The Godfather of Lebanon’s Underground Music

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Zeid Hamdan, born in 1976, is a singer, songwriter, musician, and pioneer of the underground music scene. He is the music producer behind some of the most successful bands on the Lebanese and regional alternative scene. He created the website http://www.lebaneseunderground.com that often features some of the most interesting projects on the Arab music scene, deservedly earning him the title of “godfather of Lebanese underground music” after almost two decades of experimentations with music.

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