What happens after…
Nass Makan – the people of Makan – is an Egyptian open project that brings together the greatest musicians of Egypt and Sudan on stage in a new sound. Famous custodians of the legacy of musical tradition, such as Zar performers Om Sameh and Om Hassan join Sudanese Singer Asia, singer Sayed Imam and Sayed Rekabi together with many unique instrumentalists.
Nass Makan is different, innovative and constantly changing. The unique mix of traditional Egyptian instruments with more contemporary ones provides a sound you’ve never heard before. This mix combined with different Egyptian & Sudanese music styles conjures an atmosphere and sound that’s hard to describe or categorize, but extremely powerful both in its most reflective moments and in its wild ballads.
Gypsy Music from the Delta joins hands with Zar songs and Sudanese music styles, traditional instruments join contemporary ones. In the thoughtful and exhilarating arrangements, each singer and each music style is presented on a platform that respects the diverse musical tradition and brings it out in a new way. The result is a collection of charming arrangements, spontaneous and original. Some would describe it as fusion, but chiefly Egyptian.
Nass Makan forges a path to renewal through analyzing music at its roots and using traditional techniques, shapes, and sounds to create a fresh and stirringly creative experience. In this enchanting performance, vocals are accompanied by traditional instruments like the kawala, arghoul or tamboura and instruments such as the saxophone, drums and guitar.
Musical director Ahmed El Maghraby describes the creation of Nass Makan:
‘Since the beginning of my work in the field of traditional music some years ago, I always ask myself the following question: What happens after…? What happens after we have located the last living resources of certain musical traditions? What happens after we record and preserve this music with the means of modern technology? What happens after we present it the way it is, without additions or alterations? What happens after we’ve presented the same music for many times? The answer I found is based on the words of Sheikh Amin Elkhouly: “The first step in a renewal is to contain and totally assimilate the old”. With “Nass Makan” I tried to find this road to renewal by analyzing our music, by building on techniques, shapes and sounds of traditional music in a way that will produce a new creative experience.’
The project was premiered with great success in October 2007 Concert Series in Cairo and has since then performed regularly at Makan, in Cairo and abroad.