Light in Babylon
|Light in Babylon|
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Light in Babylon at the Ankara Palas in Turkey, 2017
|Genres||World music, Mediterranean|
|Labels||Light in Babylon|
|Members||Michal Elia Kamal|
Light in Babylon is an international band that formed in 2010, consisting of singer Michal Elia Kamal (Hebrew language|Hebrew: מיכל אליה קמל), guitarist Julien Demarque, and santurist Metehan Çiftçi. Since 2017, the band has been joined by bassist Payam Ghasemi, and drummer Stuart Dickson.
While traveling in the Balkans, singer Michal Elia Kamal, an Israeli of Iranian heritage, met French guitarist Julien Demarque. Searching together for a santur player to join them, Michal and Julien encountered Turkish santurist Metehan Çiftçi as he was busking in Istanbul. The trio formed initially out of a casual jamming arrangement, in which each spoke different languages but found common ground in music.
The biblical story of the Tower of Babel inspired the band’s moniker, alluding to how the medium of music enabled the three members to play together despite initial difficulties in communicating.
As a newly-founded trio, Light in Babylon played extensively on the Beyoğlu District’s Independence Avenue, a thoroughfare known for music performances of diverse genres and instrumentation. Light in Babylon joined the vibrant and cosmopolitan street İstiklal Caddesi, through which it is estimated that three million pedestrians pass each day.
Musical styles and influences
The band’s style has been described as transcending strict delineations of language and culture, and as radically welcoming of all audiences. Accordingly, their music is popular across numerous intersections of identity, nationality, and religion, resonating with people around the globe. Genres that have influenced the band’s style include Music of Turkish music, Balkan songs, gypsy traditions, classical and pop music.
The band’s style is informed in its ethos and philosophy by the conviction that songs can create a new world of shared humanism. Personal experiences of travel, Cosmopolitanism|cosmopolitan friendships, cultural exile resulting from the Iranian Revolution have inspired the band to explore themes of freedom, soul, and shared humanity.
Songs are sung in various languages, combining Hebrew,Turkish,Persia,Farsi,English.
|2012||Life Sometimes Doesn’t Give You Space
|2013||The Women of Teheran
|2013||İçimdeki Ses 8 Bölüm
|2015||Canlı Performans TEDxReset
|2015||Light in Babylon Documentary
|2020||Light in Babylon interview
- "Israeli-Iranian singer unites different cultures". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
- "Sounds of the Sidewalk - Light in Babylon - - WOMEX". www.womex.com. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
- "World music from Istanbul: Light in Babylon: Ambassadors of peace - Qantara.de". Qantara.de - Dialogue with the Islamic World. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
- "Looking for 'Light in Babylon': from Istanbul to Europe". euronews. 2017-09-06. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
- "'Müziğimiz tıpkı İstanbul gibi hem mutluluk var hem hüzün'". aksam.com.tr (in Türkçe). Retrieved 2021-02-13.
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