: Untitled tracks - تسجيلات بلا عنوان (9789953519036) : Photographs by Tanya Traboulsi. Edited by Ziad Nawfal, Ghalya Saadawi : Books
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Untitled Tracks - تسجيلات بلا عنوان

On alternative music in Beirut - عن الموسيقى البديلة في بيروت
by Photographs by Tanya Traboulsi. Edited by Ziad Nawfal, Ghalya Saadawi
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Amers Editions
  • Publishing date: 2009
  • Language: Bilingual English - Arabic
  • ISBN-13: 9789953519036
  • ISBN: 9789953519036


The book is a collection of texts and photos which begins to chart the manifold, mutating and increasingly visible alternative musical landscapes in Beirut. Through a generous series of photographs as well as reflective texts on topics such as the melancholy sound of Soapkills, the politics and relevance of noise, and the interference of genres, this publication investigates the resonances of music and noise in the organized chaos and politics of everyday life.

Book review

Over the past couple of years, Tanya Traboulsi has assiduously photographed the performances, studio sessions and off-duty moments of a specific segment of Lebanon’s music-making community. These images form the foundation of “Untitled Tracks,” a new book edited by Ziad Nawfal and Ghalya Saadawi. Traboulsi’s images, some of which have appeared in these pages, form a fresh, kinetic snapshot of a particular scene at a particular time. Most of the protagonists will be familiar to anyone who takes even a passing interest in Beirut’s indie community. The intimate nature of these pictures – many of the musicians are close friends of Traboulsi – plunge the viewer into the action, whether the musicians are in the throes of performance or hanging out in their homes. As Saadawi so delightfully opines in her introduction to the volume, “I am tempted to say her camera wants to be another organ, an ear, a nose, a tapping foot.” Sweaty shots of post-punk outfit Scrambled Eggs in performance rub shoulders with images of the three members larking about in the studio. Experimental musician Tarek Atoui is caught looming over his battery of electronic equipment like a cat waiting to pounce. Buffeted by sea breezes, singer Hiba al-Mansoury performs at a festival in Manara’s Sporting Club, statuesque and robed like a Greek goddess. Subtitled “On Alternative Music in Beirut,” the book sets Traboulsi’s relatively recent photographs within a larger framework. A set of eight essays – as well as what Saadawi describes as a “poetic ramble” from Scrambled Eggs front man Charbel Haber – meditate on the history and the nature of Lebanon’s musical underground in English and Arabic.

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