Introducing the musicians and instrument maker
Faris Ishaq is from Beit Sahour. He played other wind instruments before he taught himself how to play the ney, an ancient flute. The flute is usually made of bamboo or sugar cane. In order to play this instrument with more modern music types, Faris has had some extra holes made into his instruments and he developed a skill to play the ney in a certain angle that gives him a larger ranges of tones. He has recently finished his masters at Berklee College of Music in Global Jazz Contemporary Performance Art.
Shafeeq Alsadi is from Bethlehem. When he was 8 years old he went to the local Conservatory to see what kind of instruments they were teaching. It was the time of the Second Intifada. There were not that many options. When he saw and heard the qanun, he knew that he wanted to play THAT instrument. He is now in the second year of the Masters ‘Improvisation and World Music’ at the Academy of Music and Drama at University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
Canaan Ghoul is from Silwan in Jerusalem, Al Quds. He started playing the ud when he was about 8 years old. It was clear from the beginning that he had talent but he did not realize that himself. He played in the streets of Jerusalem before he started to become more famous and now he plays at weddings and events. He works with youth in schools, he composes music but he also loves to improvise and reaches what he calls ‘the flow state’, a meditative state of playing music.
Music instrument maker Aref Sayed is from Jerusalem but has his workshop in Beit Sahour. Aref is from a family of carpenters. When he was young he played the violin and ud. He started to try and fix his own instruments and realized he had a passion for this job. During his studies in Italy, Germany and Turkey he learned to build and fix a wide range of instruments such as the violin, the ud, bozouq and qanun. Aref makes only tailor made instruments that are customized to the needs of the musician. He recently developed a revolutionary new way to make the qanun without using leather, the piece that always gives qanun players headache with the tuning.