Sunday 12 May 2024, 7.30pm

Archive of Listening

No Longer Available

The night will begin with a panel discussion about the concept of the Archive of Listening, aiming to exchange listening experiences and practices with other archive platforms. The panel will feature Mark Gergis, Yamen Mekdad (Syrian Cassette Archives), Christina Hazboun (Christina Hazboun, Founder of The Sonic Agent from Palestine) and Hardi Kurda (Archive Khanah founder from Kurdistan), moderated by Rim Irscheid (Beyond 1932, King’s College London).

We will continue with two sets of performances, creating spontaneous improv groups from our wide collaborative pool: Khabat Abas, Hasan Hujairi, Adam Denton, Ernst Marechal, and George Moraitis.

Performers will bring and incorporate their personal & historical sound archives spanning modern-day field recordings from the streets of Slemani in Kurdistan, Brussels, Syria, Belfast, Palestine, London, Greece, and Sharjah, as well as historical materials from the 1930s to 1970s recorded in Kurdistan and Iraq.

Archive Khanah is part of SPACE21 projects Supported by AFAC (Arab Fund for culture and art) and British Council Northern Ireland




Hasan Hujairi

Hasan Hujairi (b. 1982) is a Bahraini artist, composer, and writer. His work often explores the notion of the outsider, confronting (historiographic) superstructures, and the nature of constructing narratives within time. He holds a DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) in music composition from Seoul National University (Seoul, South Korea), where he researched reorienting the narrative associated with the maverick composer tradition to be more inclusive of composers working outside the Western classical music tradition. He also holds a Masters of Economics from Hitotsubashi University (Tokyo, Japan) in economic history and regional economics, and wrote his thesis on the significance of conceiving the Gulf region in both its littorals within a Braudelian historiographic framework. As of January 2023, he joined the Sharjah Art Foundation as manager of the music department.

Hardi Kurda

Hardi Kurda is a sound artist, improviser, and founder of SPACE21, a sound art and experimental music platform in Slemani, and the Archive Khanah, an interactive sound archive project using the philosophy of computer gaming technology. Currently, he is a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths College, the University of London. He explores radio noises that may have been considered illegal, abandoned, unheard, invisible, broken, distorted, untold, forgotten, or simply noises from nowhere, without a place or destination. He developed the notion of "The Found Score" an instrument as a listening medium, using everyday materials to reimagine listening experiences through engaging other senses based on his listening experience in a crisis when he immigrated illegally to Europe.

Photo credit: Jonathan Crabb

Khabat Abas

Khabat Abas, cellist and composer from Kurdistan-Iraq. Her work explores the experience of sound, from music to the everyday sounds and noises we hear. It’s a deep dive into how we experience sound, especially in the context of different geopolitical situations. She uses her instrument beyond traditional norms. Khabat improvises, composes, creates sound installations, uses different materials to make a cello, and uses her body, and she challenges conventional musical values and control.

Syrian Cassette Archives

Syrian Cassette Archives is an initiative aiming to preserve, share and research sounds and stories from the cassette era (1970s-2000s) in Syria. The collection of tapes presents a wide-ranging overview of musical styles from Syriaʼs many communities, including Syrian Arabs, Assyrians, Kurds and Armenians, as well as Iraqis displaced by sanctions and wars throughout the 1990s-2000s. The archive is home to tape recordings of live concerts, studio albums, soloists, classical, religious, patriotic and childrenʼs music, with a special focus on the regional dabke and shaabi folk-pop music, performed and recorded at weddings, parties and festivities.

Yamen Mekdad

Yamen Mekdad is a Syrian artist, filmmaker and community organiser based in London. His practice is an experimentation in radical collaboration with a focus on the relationship between sound and geography as well as the political possibility of sound. His interests in field recording, archiving, radio and grassroots organising led him to co-found the collectives Sawt of the Earth, Makkam and Sadaa Sound Syndicate. He is a frequent contributor to a number of radio stations, including Root, Balami, NTS and AlHara. Yamen is also curator and producer of Syrian Cassette Archives, the Syrian Arts and Culture Festival (SACF) and Sawt Syria a Boiler Room & Sadaa Sound Syndicate collaboration, exploring the inner worlds of the underground music scene in Syria and its exilic diaspora in Europe.

Adam Denton

Adam Denton [] is a sonic artist/performer working across media and materials. He has worked on projects such as The Old Police House (TOPH), a place for exploratory sonic art in Newcastle, alongside Mariam Rezaei, and the Abandonment project with Hardi Kurda & Space21 Festival, exploring so-called abandoned spaces in Slemani, Kurdistan region of Iraq. He is a member of No Hevdem, a new multi-locational collective of artists working with archive and live performance.

Photo by Colin Davison

Christina Hazboun

Christina Hazboun is a Sonic Agent, surfing soundwaves in search of ear-gasms, exploring music and sound in space, time and society. Her multifarious adventuring through music and sound manifest through an intersectional web of activities aimed at amplifying the voices of the underheard from the SWANA and the global majority via poetic and research based texts, audio/sound collages, workshops, and curation with a focus on music industries, documenting music histories, gender diversity and digital connectivity.

Photo by Samar Hazboun

Rim Irscheid

Dr Rim Irscheid is a curator, artist, and postdoctoral fellow at King’s College researching curatorial activism across sound art, experimental music and diaspora archival projects from Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt. Combining textual elements (felt, leather, chalk, steel), notes, and field recordings, her artistic practice explores the paradox of German 'Leitkultur' and ambivalent feelings of alienation, belonging, and lived experiences of German citizens of Palestinian heritage. She holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology & Curatorial Practice from King's College London, a Master’s degree in Musicology from the University of Oxford and a joint honours BA in Musicology and Psychology from the University of Heidelberg.

Photo by Damián Irzik

George Moraitis

George Moraitis [] is an Athens-based multimedia artist. His practice investigates the space between sound sculpture, audiovisual installations, two-dimensional works and performance. His multi-layered works incorporate sound and found objects which are often accompanied by video, photography, screen prints, performance and computer-controlled interactive installations. Sound takes the form of acoustic and psychoacoustic explorations of the body, sculpture and vision in intersections of the peculiarities of perception, materiality and technology. Working with sound, installations and performance, he proposes narratives aiming to disrupt memory, experience and a sense of history, expressing the underlying tensions within our contemporary mode of living: the multiplicity and fragmentation of its languages.

Ernst Maréchal

Ernst Maréchal is an audiovisual artist, performer and songwriter. With a love for beat, sound and voice, he explores the borderland between the political and the poetic. He seeks to understand, imagine and address issues of inequality, diversity and commonality. With Social Recordings, he is involved in an ongoing dialogue, engaging different people, places and memories to resonate in non-linear moments of encounter.