17 April 2024

Maya Al-Khaldi & Sarouna

Part of When Solidarity Is Not a Metaphor

Other World

Starts 4:00 pm

Venue Navy Officers' Club, Venice


Other World, an album by Maya al-Khaldi and produced by Tawleef, carries Palestinian music lore into contemporary soundscapes, envisaging sonic futures. Merging traditional melodies, instrumentation, lyrics, and archival recordings from the Popular Art Centre in Ramallah, al-Khaldi’s haunting vocals and Sarouna’s innovative qanun harmonies chart unexplored musical territories. Their performance in When Solidarity Is Not a Metaphor weaves the grief and joy of traditional songs into a landscape where past and future coalesce.

Al-Khaldi, a Jerusalem-based singer-songwriter, and Sarouna, a trailblazer in Palestinian music, qanun player, and founder of the women-led Tawleef, invoke a narrative that revisits and redefines heritage, creating a bridge between time-honoured music traditions and futuristic imaginaries. Their collaborative project, Other World, showcases a unique fusion of sounds that reflects their shared heritage and individual musical journeys, marking a poignant statement on cultural memory and future soundscapes.

Maya al-Khaldi (born 1989, Jerusalem, Palestine), is an innovative singer-songwriter whose work traverses realms of music and composition. Weaving Palestinian traditional music with contemporary Western influences, she crafts soundscapes that bridge sonic pasts and futures. Her album Other World serves as a testament to this synthesis, incorporating elements from the Ramallah-based Popular Art Centre’s traditional music archives to engender a visionary auditory experience.

In When Solidarity Is Not a Metaphor, al-Khaldi’s collaboration with Sarouna in the premier performance of their album Other World incarnates the exhibition’s emphasis on the state of with-ness through a feminist prism that resonates beyond the immediate context of conflict.

(born 1995, Jerusalem, Palestine) is a Palestinian qanun player, audio engineer, producer, and DJ known for her innovative blend of traditional and electronic music. Founder of Tawleef, a pioneering women-led record label and artist space in Palestine, she has established herself as a promising figure in contemporary Palestinian music, challenging conventional male-dominated music landscapes.

Her partnership with Maya al-Khaldi in Other World, showcased in When Solidarity Is Not a Metaphor, resonates with the exhibition’s defiance of patriarchal agenda and backing for acts of with-ness. Sarouna is committed to exploring memory and identity through her all-female music projects, featuring local and diasporic Palestinian female voices.