“I Remember Syria” – an album Mark Gergis put together for Sublime Frequencies in 2003/2004 – has been reissued for 2013 as a special Sublime Frequencies digital edition in conjunction with Forced Exposure – featuring an expanded downloadable booklet with photos and text. Available through iTunes and Boomkat.
The most important thing about this reissue is that all proceeds from the sale of this release will be donated to the Syrian Red Crescent - a charity that assists Syrians in need. And they are in need - so please purchase a copy or two, and tell people.
Syria doesn’t sound like it did on “I Remember Syria” anymore, and it doesn’t look like the photographs in the expanded booklet. As you may already know, Syria is suffering in the midst of unthinkable turmoil, attack and destruction. As a wide-scale humanitarian disaster continues to unfold, Syrians both within the country and in refugee camps beyond its borders are in need of immediate assistance.
“I Remember Syria” was assembled as a love letter to the country I grew to know as one of most civilized places on Earth. It contains recordings made and collected during my first travels to Syria between 1997 and 2000. Across the span of 14 years, I would travel there as frequently as possible. When initially released on Sublime Frequencies as a double-CD in 2004, the aim was to showcase and humanize a land and its people that had been politically and culturally exiled by the west for decades. Hopefully, these recordings can serve again as a testament to the beauty and unity of Syria, and the grace, hospitality and integrity of its people.
– Mark Gergis – March, 2013
“I Remember Syria” (SF009DI)
Sublime Frequencies is proud to present this digital reissue of I Remember Syria: an assemblage of field recordings, interviews, radio broadcasts and music, from one of the least-known quarters of the Arab world. Before the west associated Syria with its current crisis, it had politically and culturally isolated the country for decades – leaving little known of its contemporary peoples, or its rich heritage of art, music and culture.
Originally released as a 2-CD set in 2004, this one of a kind audio document was recorded and surgically assembled by Mark Gergis from recordings he made in Syria between 1997 and 2000. The results offer a multi-faceted glimpse into the country, as it was at the cusp of the 21st century.
Disc one features sounds from the ancient capital city of Damascus – including vivid street soundscapes, interviews, spontaneous live music, sounds captured inside the world-renowned Ummayad Mosque, and fragments of radio and television broadcasts, as well as exploring the mystery of a legendary underground city called “Kazib”.
Disc two takes us out to “Greater Syria”, capturing live musicians, political opinions of the day, radio excerpts and sketches, songs from cassette releases found around the country, and other audio anomalies. The closing track showcases the haunting sounds of wood against wood produced by the Norias – the giant irrigation waterwheels that have churned in the Orontes River, in the city of Hama, for centuries.
All proceeds from the sale of this release will be donated to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (IFRC) to support urgent humanitarian aid work during the ongoing crisis in Syria.
Purchase from iTunes and Boomkat
Audio samples HERE
Learn more about this release HERE