News Column

Music result, not tool of political change -- Palestinian artist

June 30, 2013


June 30--AMMAN -- Although Palestinian musician Tamer Abu Ghazaleh cannot separate his art from the political developments around him, he believes that music should not be a tool for political change.

"I believe that music is a result and not a tool," he told The Jordan Times on the sidelines of his concert within Al Balad Music Festival at the Odeon in downtown Amman on Thursday.

"Music is what comes out of what the artist feels and thinks about a current situation and not the other way around," Abu Ghazaleh stressed, noting that alternative music is a good representative of political and social change.

The Cairo-based artist is one of several participants in the alternative music festival held by Al Balad Theatre.

Abu Ghazaleh said the festival "is one of the most important steps in creating alternative music that tries to challenge the norms".

Organisers said last week that the event seeks to bring more attention to "non-commercial" artists who use their music to send a message.

According to organisers, more than two hundred people came to the Odeon on Thursday the festival's second day, which also featured a concert by Egyptian artist Maryam Salem."I love being on stage in Jordan. It's very cool to hear the people repeating your words," she said.

Although she has been performing for several years, Salem still has the occasional stage fright."I have to share feelings with people on such a big stage and that sometimes makes me afraid and very nervous," she admitted.

The artist sees her music as a platform to make people think about their surroundings.

"I always search for the truth in my songs. For me this is the only way to express myself," Salem told The Jordan Times.

She noted that alternative music now plays an important role among young people in her country, expressing their discomfort with the status quo.

"People feel bored with everything... the government, traditional music and films, so this is the right moment for our medium."

The festival concludes on Sunday with performances by the Algerian Labess group and Tunisian artist Emel Mathluthi


(c)2013 the Jordan Times (Amman, Jordan)

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