Monday 19 April 2021

A ray of hope: hcmf// and Irtijal's Istimrar commissions

hcmf// and Irtijal's Istimrar commissions

The last year has been devastating in Lebanon, with the August 2020 explosion in Beirut on top of everything else happening at the moment, and the arts scene has suffered badly with Beirut's lively scene almost at a standstill. To provide some hope and support,  Beirut’s influential Irtijal Festival has joined forces with the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf//) to launch  Istimrar (Arabic for ‘continuity’), a series of twelve new works, commissioned exclusively from Lebanese musicians. The purpose of the series is to keep the creativity of Lebanese musicians alive and robust, and to inject some stimulus into the Lebanese musical sector as a whole.  

The commissions go to musicians currently living in Lebanon and each will be provided with the necessary tools to produce a musical work of their devising, with ehe sole condition being that the work should be composed, recorded, mixed and produced locally.  

hcmf// and Irtijal will handle promotion and distribution, and the commissions are expected to appear from late Summer this year (2021) initially on on-line platforms and with live performances as conditions allow.

The commissioned composers are:

Since the devastating explosion in Beirut on August 2020,  the Irtijal team have held firmly to their belief in the necessity of keeping the city’s musical sector alive no matter what. They put together a short edition of the annual festival in November 2020, followed by a German iteration of Irtijal Festival in Berlin. Earlier in October, they were involved in a large-scale fundraising event in Berlin, involving the majority of Lebanese indie musicians and music collectives.  

Further information from the hcmf// and Irtijal websites

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