Despite modest equipment and studios, Idlib artists produce music

A local recording studio in the northwestern city of Idlib - July 28, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Shams al-Din Matoun)

A local recording studio in the northwestern city of Idlib - July 28, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Shams al-Din Matoun)

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Enab Baladi – Shams al-Din Matoun

The artists of the northwestern region of Idlib are trying to produce songs that vary between revolutionary and enthusiastic, children’s songs, and religious chants, with local efforts which lack professional expertise and more accurate equipment.

The songs are produced in studios equipped with medium-quality equipment, written and composed by young men living in the region, and have achieved popularity and stimulated many talents to participate.

Modest equipment

Artists present songs for specific occasions, such as the anniversary of the revolution, displacement, pilgrimage, and holidays, in addition to the songs they produce for local organizations concerned with providing humanitarian services or for private educational centers that present them with their visual publications or in public events.

Mousab Wali, a voiceover commentator and owner of the “Kord” studio in Idlib, told Enab Baladi that song production projects have begun to develop with the expansion of the work team, and there are people who have the ability to compose, in addition to collaborating with several local poets, with many beautiful and diverse voices, including children.

He added that the existing specialists have good work experience, and despite the limitations, they produced many songs and achieved great popularity.

Among the most famous songs produced by Wali, who started his first work in 2021, are “Ghared Ala Jamr al-Kifah” (Sing on the Embers of Struggle), “Qad Daq Babi Za’er” (A Visitor Has Knocked on My Door), “al-Eid Ma Ahlah” (How Sweet is Eid), and “Fadh al-Haneen” (Overflow of Nostalgia).

As for Fahd al-Shami, the owner of the “Harmony” studio in Idlib, he told Enab Baladi that the absence of sponsors and specialized production institutions has turned the studio’s work into a mini-production company, as it takes care of everything necessary to release the song with the best possible result.

Since 2018, the studio has released more than 300 recorded audio works, which varied between prophetic praises, chants, and revolutionary songs.

A local recording studio in the northwestern city of Idlib - July 28, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Shams al-Din Matoun)

A local recording studio in the northwestern city of Idlib – July 28, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Shams al-Din Matoun)

Poor production, Lack of specialized technicians

Non-specialized cadres are trying to develop their work and acquire new skills, according to al-Shami.

Hassan Musafra, of Saraqib city, expressed his admiration for the experiences of locally produced songs, saying that what distinguishes them is their lyrics that touch reality and simulate the concerns and aspirations of the audience.

He added that the songs, despite their popularity in the region, lack good melodies because the melody is the first thing that draws the listener to the song, and most of the melodies, as Musafra sees it, have become repetitive, especially since they depend on digital audio applications.

Musafra believes that hiring specialized composers can have a positive impact on the quality of the local song.

For his part, journalist Abdul-Hamid Haj Mohammad told Enab Baladi that there is no doubt that all the songs produced in the liberated areas are positive.

However, “the best thing is to see these works with a high level of professionalism and influence, especially since many of the songs and anthems that were produced, filmed and prepared in the liberated areas carry a meaningful message,” he adds.

Despite the limited capabilities and available resources, most young people are trying to highlight their talents in service of their cause, “the cause of the Syrian people,” according to Haj Mohammad.

Digital promotion

Through social media, song owners promote their productions, especially those produced in cooperation with educational platforms or local organizations.

The song makers agree that their lack of professional equipment is the biggest obstacle to the development of the song industry because sound recording is affected by external factors, which is a very sensitive matter, and the higher the quality of the recording equipment, the more beautiful the sound will be.

Despite the high costs of producing songs, those in charge of them work in Idlib with limited financial capabilities, and often no wages are available for those involved, which forces them not to devote themselves entirely to this profession.

The songs are spread through social media platforms on the pages of their makers and their personal accounts without funded promotion, which greatly impedes their spread.

Song makers in Idlib hope to provide support opportunities to produce their songs, shed light on their experiences, or help them produce songs to achieve a wider spread.

 

 

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