Tag Archives: Syria

Artist Profiles: Anwar Diab Agha

Anwar Diab Agha

Born in 1947 in Damascus (Syria), ud player, violinist, vocalist and composer Anwar Diab Agha has performed throughout the Middle East and Europe with Sabah Fakhri, Mayada Hinawi, and Firqat Umayya. He was a member of the National Television and Radio Orchestra in Damascus since 1969, and accompanied some of the Arab world’s most famous singers, including Fairouz, Sabah, and Wadi al-Safi.

Anwar Diab Agha is also renowned as a composer, whose works have been performed by many contemporary Arabic singers. He was the leader of Firqat al-Anwar in Damascus.

After moving to Vermont in the United States, Anwar Diab Agha formed Grup Anwar (meaning ‘luminous’ in Arabic) in fall 2011. The group specializes in classical and traditional Arabic music.


Syrian Journey: From Damascus to Burlington (2016)


L&T: Abed Azrie

I will be writing a column on Length & Time in music, in each presenting an album and its strategies that pertain to addressing Length & Time.

It’s only cultural that we each, every human, every mind, has had a personal history with music narrative. What line of text put to music, text that was music, began this condition of yours: you, librarian of an own multicultural Alexandria (metaphor,) looking, searching, browsing, to have heard, felt, even feared, for the what a singer said?

For some, this line of sung text is a poem’s: a poem adapted into song. There are the few whose society have both produced or adhered to the concepts “poem” and “music,” and have combined the two into singing poetry as a tradition. France is well known for this praxis.

Even the wind wants
to become a cart
pulled by butterflies.

Adonis, a Syrian poet living in France, is a brilliant writer of often long poems that are often simple when read.

Abed Azrie is a wonderful Syrian musician and singer now living in France.

Perhaps the two first met in France but their album Abed Azrie chante Adonis, in France language, combines Syrian poetry with singing of Syrian descent into living as according to French culture: a living of “chanson” (text molded into song.)

The songs themselves are not in French and that’s exactly the point: it is Abed Azrie singing Adonis, the great poet, to hopefully satisfy we post modern machines in musical text, in language as music as poetry atop of music.

It’s only correct to have a personal history with musical text in our age of postmodern thoughts even in the most traditional societies, and technologies that have quite simply allowed all revelry, contemplation, in the gardens of musical collections that were one only afforded to owners of music collections.  A garden of becoming and not of identity, for if writer Andre Malraux was right about anything: art is metamorphosis.

Abed Azrie chante Adonis