This exhibition focuses on an almost forgotten exponent of African and Arabic philosophy of sound: Halim El-Dabh – composer, electronics pioneer, scholar and teacher.
“Here History Began” pays homage to the Egyptian-American composer, electronic music pioneer, researcher and teacher Halim El-Dabh (1921 – 2017). A paramount figure in shaping African and Arab sonic philosophy, El-Dabh’s oeuvre has vanished into oblivion, despite the fact that his important work spans a period of seventy years and includes, amongst others one of the earliest works of electroacoustic music, “Taabir El Zaar” (1944).
As the culmination of five years of research, SAVVY Contemporary and MaerzMusik present an exhibition based on El-Dabh’s immense archive of tapes, scores, letters, texts, photographs and videos. Contemporary transdisciplinary artists and musicians have been commissioned to make new pieces, to relate and pay tribute to, get inspired by, and reflect on El-Dabh’s practices and positions within music history and beyond, to deliberate on what contemporary African and Arab soundscapes are today and where they stand within the genealogy and legacy of Pan-Africanism.
SAVVY Contemporary respects the current measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish everyone good health and safety. Until the lockdown regulations change, the space will stay closed but you can connect with this project sonically and visually through our window showcase as well as through a digital platform that will soon follow.