Video / Listening Session
Jazzfest Berlin – Cairo

Nancy Mounir: “Nozhet El Nofous (Those who were not invited)”

Followed by a Listening Session with Judith Hamann, Maurice Louca and Uygur Vural

Egyptian violinist Nancy Mounir has spent five years researching female Egyptian singers from the 1920s. These artists, who often worked with tuning systems outside of the dominant scales in the Arabic mainstream, were uninvited from the influential 1932 Congress of Arab Music in Cairo.

Nancy Mounir

Nancy Mounir

© Promo

Past Dates

Concerts online
Watch this event as a recording in the  Berliner Festspiele Media Library.

Video contribution from Cairo / ca. 40 min

Nozhet El Nofous (Those who were not invited)

The video work is a promenade through a near-forgotten world, where archival clues guide us and eventually tell the story. Mounira El Mahdeya and others evoke and relive their glory days, before the 1932 Congress of Arab Music was held in Cairo. Indeed, Mounira and her fellow singers who feature in this work were not invited to the Congress, which aimed to document and standardise Arab and Oriental music and resulted in the erasure of a rich tapestry of microtonality from Egyptian music. Using a mix of archival material and new footage, Nancy Mounir plays along and with the material to add musical layers and reconstruct a non-existent musical memory, culminating in a performance at the Institute of Arab Music, the very place where the Congress was held, thus reviving these singers’ voices where they were once excluded and erased.

Nancy Mounir concept, composition, theremin, violin, research, direction
Ahmed El Saaty projection, filming, editing, cinematography, colour grading
Adham Zidan mixing
Katia Halls English translation and subtitles
Simsara Music executive producer
Hakim Abdel Naïm research
Yasser Abdullah research
Laila Soliman dramaturgy, actor coaching
Youssra El Hawary accordion, research, dramaturgy
Mounir Maher piano
Ahmed Amin double bass
Mahmoud Youssef filming
Abdelrahman Huwait filming
Darren Haynes live sound
Saad Samir lighting
Ahmed Saleh lighting assistant
Nazli Reda assistant live sound
Amr Hosny acting
Zainab Magdy acting

Commissioned by Berliner Festspiele / Jazzfest Berlin
Supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC)

Listening Session / ca. 60 min

Fine Tuning Difference

From traditional non-tempered tuning systems, just intonation, equal temperament, microtonal systems, to idiosyncratic detunings – the pluriverse of approaches to tuning and tonal organization is a central element of musical construction and expression. It is also a historically charged field, in which the relationships between indigenous, traditional and modern approaches, diversity and standardization, body, soul and systems of musical organization are manifested. In this Listening Session, musicians Judith Hamann, Maurice Louca and Uygur Vural share glimpses of their individual takes and thinking on tuning, microtonality and tonal organization. Australian cellist and composer-performer Judith Hamann is an impressive new voice in the Berlin ‘tuning scene’ around artists like the Harmonic Space Orchestra, Marc Sabat, Catherine Lamb or Zinc & Copper. Mixing Arabic music, electronics, psychedelic folk and free improvisation, Maurice Louca is one of the most prolific musicians and composers on Egypt´s underground music scene. Multidisciplinary artist and cellist Uygur Vural has been exploring the transcultural sphere between European contemporary music and free improvisation, classical Arabic and Anatolian tradition, and jazz for many years.

with Judith Hamann, Maurice Louca and Uygur Vural
moderation Thomas Gläßer

This event is part of Jazzfest Berlin – Cairo