in a live performance entitled “Home Within”
Syrian composer and clarinetist, Kinan Azmeh, and Syrian-Armenian visual artist, Kevork Mourad, both based in New York City, held a 60-minute audio-visual performance, titled “Home Within” at AUB Assembly Hall. Part of the proceeds of “Home Within” will go to support young artists through Ettijahat’s grant program and the Syrian Students Scholarship Fund at AUB.
In this performance art and music develop in counterpoint to each other, creating an impressionistic reflection on the Syrian revolution and its aftermath. Rather than following a narrative, the artists documented specific moments in Syria’s recent history and reached into their emotional content in a semi-abstract way.
“Home Within” was premiered in Montreal at the Festival Du Nouveau Cinema in 2013, and has been touring North America and Europe in efforts to raise awareness and funds for Syrian Refugees through a number of charitable organizations.
“Home Within is not about summarizing the Syrian story and it’s not about political slogans so much as it is about documenting how we have felt at different times from the beginning of the uprising until now. It’s a tragedy that continues to unfold in front of our eyes.” said Kinan Azmeh in a recent interview. Reaching Lebanon, Kevork Mourad said, “Through Home Within, we express the feelings of every Syrian living this tragedy. Art has a way of alleviating sorrows and this is what we aim for in our performance. Performing in Lebanon gives us motivation, since this country knows what the Syrian people are going through.”
Roula Douaidy & Néda Ziadé, owners of Events Production, who organized the performance in Beirut said: “Art & Culture have always been an important way of expression. Home Within is not just a cultural event, but foremost a message of humanity to the world. Held in Beirut, this performance rings the bell, spreading awareness on the sorrow of the Syrian people.”
Hailed as a “virtuoso” and “Intensely Soulful” by the New York Times and “Spellbinding” by the New Yorker.
Born in Damascus, Syria, Kinan was the first Arab to win the premier prize at the 1997 Nicolai Rubinstein International Competition, Moscow. A graduate of New York’s Juilliard school, the Damascus High institute of Music, Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering. Kinan earned his doctorate degree in music from the City University of New York in 2013.
Kinan has appeared as a soloist, composer and improviser in the most prestigious concert halls in the world. He has also shared the stage with Yo-Yo Ma, John McLaughlin, Marcel Khalife among others. He is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble with whom he was awarded a Grammy in 2017 and leads his own bands Hewar and Kinan Azmeh CityBand.
Born in Qamishli, a town in northeastern Syria. Of Armenian heritage, he received his Master of Fine Arts from the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts in Armenia, and now lives and works in New York. With his technique of spontaneous painting, where he shares the stage with musicians, a collaboration in which art and music develop in counterpoint to each. He has performed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Bronx Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, The Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art in Yerevan, Le Festival du Monde Arabe in Montreal, the Nara Museum in Japan, the Art Institute of Chicago, the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Central Park’s Summerstage with the Silk Road Ensemble and Bobby McFerrin.
The 2016 recipient of the Robert Bosch Stiftung Prize, Mourad is currently at work on an animated short film about Syria.