But they don't all live in Syria, which enhances and complements the band's cultural medley of influences and musical tastes. Hewar was unveiled with a concert that took place in the historical setting of al-Zaytuna church in Damascus, Syria, old city in September 2003. The venue was packed to maximum capacity with 1,500 people, all of whom came through word-of-mouth to witness this event. The concert was such an immense success, and created a positive buzz for the band, leading to a follow-up and equally successful concert in the American University of Beirut (AUB) in January 2004, under the auspices of the Syrian Club. In February and March 2004, Hewar—sponsored by the Syrian Embassy in Washington, and several NGOs promoting cultural understanding, mainly the Middle East Institute—toured 10 US states, performing in packed venues as prestigious as MIT and the Kennedy Center to standing ovations. They later played one concert in Cologne, Germany in late March 2004 to a receptive and eminent audience, receiving great acclaim and kudos, and in London.
They also performed in Opéra Bastille in Paris, and in Tokyo's Shinjuku PIT Inn. Hewar released their first album on 12-1-2005 in Beirut and on 16-1-2005 in Damascus , the launch of the album was very successful, and the album produced by La CD-Theque . In collaboration with the three distinguished musician guests, Manfred Leuchter, Steffen Thormahlen and Antoine Pütz, Hewar performed two concerts in Damascus in July 2006 and one concerts in Marseilles in Oct 2006. This collaboration brought in Hewar's second album 9 Days of Solitude in July 2007. Music Hewar's music brings together an diverse musical influences, and draws from an many musical traditions—namely Arabic, jazz, scat, opera and classical music; which makes it a unique venture. The band, building on the individual talents of each of its members, juxtaposes and meshes these musical styles seeks to create a truly one-of-a-kind genre-breaking music. Musician-personality—rather than instruments—driven approach, justifies Hewar's ostensibly strange and eclectic line-up comprising Oud, Clarinet, and Soprano, emphasizes the ability of music to express a wide scope of human emotions (joy, sorrow, fear, hope, and solitude) in a universal, easily-accessible vernacular. This makes for a distinctively unique sound, a sound that allows for an open-ended dialogue between Arabic music, jazz and western classical melodies—a conscious decision by the band's members. Mission Accourding to the band's website they seek to transcend the barriers of cultural disparities and misconceptions, and establish a civilized communication which builds on what brings humans closer together rather than separates them.
This is achieved through a unique musical exchange between different musical personalities (using each individual instrument as the only means of this musical communication), reflecting an approach that is as musically-based as much as it has social and political references and subtexts. Because today's world is growing ever closer, and cultural barriers and misperceptions should be coming down at an ever-increasing pace. In these iconoclastic times, communication and understanding constitute an indispensable element in the process of human interaction. The most elevated form of interaction is the Hewar (dialogue) between two—or more—seemingly disparate and unique points of departure, with the goal of reaching a common human ground. It is in light of this simple philosophy of the indispensability of Hewar, that the ensemble Hewar (Dialogue, in English) was conceived. Hewar was formed by a group of young and established Syrian musicians imbued with a sense of an urgent cultural mission, creative motivation, and openness. Discography Hewar (2005).
9 Days of Solitude: The Damascus Session (2007). Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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