Audio Art Project helps Syrian Community share Sound Memories of Home

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Andrea Montgomery, Terra Nova, Mayor of Ards and North Down Trevor Cummings, Nick Boyle (Composer)

The Syria-Sound of Memory project, recently launched by Terra Nova Productions, was funded by Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Good Relations and the NI Executive Office.  The project's aim was to work together with families arriving in the borough through the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme.

Syria-Sound of Memory uses music and sounds to recreate a lost audio world and bring alive memories of one perfect happy day in the city of Homs, Syria. The project was created with a script developed by our artistic director Andrea Montgomery, and a soundscape from composer Nicky Boyle and international audio artist Jeph Venger as well as input from participants (members of the Syrian community or those with connections to Syria) who recorded snatches of conversation and sounds on smartphones.

Working entirely via zoom, the project included support from Arabic/ English translator Ramy Aguib who helped artists and participants build new ways to try to understand each other as well as shape a work of art in each other’s unknown languages.

Syria-Sound of Memory will immerse listeners in a 14 minute audio experience including Arabic, framed in English, recorded by local participants, to help them understand what they are listening to. Through 5 pieces of original music and sounds, listeners will be transported  to the city of Homs, Syria where they will visit the Khalid al ibn-Wallid Mosque gardens over the course of a single day (a popular beauty spot enjoyed by citizens of all religions before the war), stories of family, celebration and past joy taking place on the first day of Eid, a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. 

Syria Sound of Memory will be available to listen on this webpage, Terra Nova Production's website http://www.terranovaproductions.net, Ards and North Down Borough Council's website https://www.ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/ and  Terra Nova and Council's YouTube channels from 12 May, 2021. 

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