The goal of Babylon ORCHESTRA, since its founding in 2016, has been to create a fresh sound that speaks to Berlin’s multicultural society. Conversations between the traditional sounds of the Middle East and the musical cultures of Europe emerge during performance, all while keeping the focus on urban elements of the Berlin music scene. At the heart of this unusual big band set-up is its ability to blur the line between the “foreign” and the familiar, creating a musical style that places the emphasis on connecting rather than separating. Babylon ORCHESTRA demonstrates how the bridge between artistic and creative collaboration provides a space for harmonious, respectful and peaceful exchange between cultures. This is the key to helping new artistic forms emerge.
The original pieces written for the orchestra have evolved over time and now make up the core tracks of their debut album of the same name, reflecting on the discoveries the group has made since it came together.
And what about the sound? Moving vocals from Kurdish-Persian-born Hani Mojtahedy and Syrian Rebal Alkhodari, the soulful playing of Osama Abdulrasol on the quanoon and Mohannad Nasser on the oud, or even the magic of the violinists Layale Chaker and Maias Alyamani, give you some idea what it’s all about. Recorded by 20 musicians from nine different countries, this album is a symbolic milestone for the multicultural ensemble, embarking on an exciting path that has only just begun.