Lectures/Jan 27, 2015

Sacred Chanting from Aleppo

Sacred Chanting from Aleppo: An Evening of Syrian Music, Photographs, Stories, and Discussion with Jason Hamacher, Dumbarton Oaks, February 12, 2015, 5:30–7:30 pm

From 2005 to 2010, musician Jason Hamacher was granted unprecedented access to the Syrian city of Aleppo to document the ancient prayers, hallowed rituals, and sacred spaces of Syria’s religious minorities. He went to document ancient Christian and Jewish culture and captured the apex of Syria’s modernization before the revolution. He created the Lost Sound Series to introduce his musical archives of rare field recordings to the world. His latest series, Sacred Voices of Syria, showcases the beauty of Syria’s endangered ancient Sufi, Armenian, Syriac, and Assyrian-Chaldean chant traditions.

Hamacher’s forthcoming book, Aleppo, Syria: Witness to an Ancient Legacy, is a collection of photographs documenting his journey into Syrian culture. Many of the people that appear in the book have been killed or have fled the country; many of the places have been destroyed.

Hamacher has worked on several projects in Syria with Smithsonian Folkways, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and the Sephardic Heritage Museum. His efforts have been featured on several national and international media outlets including NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and Interfaith Voices, Vice, Al Jazeera America, The Washington Post, and Dubai’s Orient TV and Brownbook magazine.

Seating is limited and by reservation only.