New collaboration with Oud Resists and Rafeef Ziadah – a remix of the classic poem “We Teach Life, Sir”

May 3, 2016 by cosmoakacitizensmith

default-hero-image61-680x383Salih came round one night with his new best friend, a Syrian film-maker had just got asylum in the UK. Salih had this new idea: a kind of massive global music project that would include styles from around the world in a cacophony of liberatory sounds. I wasn’t convinced, but decided to go along with it anyway.

We got set up and Salih recorded an oud piece to a beat sequence I’d found in a computer program somewhere. Salih’s Syrian friend helped set up. I thought: “Hmm, maybe we need someone talking over the beat about something. Like – Palestine!” The first person that came into my head was Noam Chomsky. But as much of a brain as he is, it’s maybe not what you want over a funky beat with an oud piece on top. Then we both remembered we’d listened to Rafeef Ziadeh’s poem: “We Teach Life, Sir” – an impassioned polemic about dealing with the media whilst trying to talk about Palestine.

I found it on YouTube and ripped it. When we put it over the top of the beat and the oud it just kind of – worked! It was all too much of a buzz not too share. I’m not sure what the next step is, but hey, that’s the joy of not having a plan.


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