Artist: Youmna Saba
Title: Wishah وِشاح
Formats: CD & Digital Download
Catalogue Number: T33.22
Street date: 6th October, 2023
1. Akaleel أكاليل – you can listen to this track here
2. Ba’oud بعوض
3. Al khayal الخيال
4. Ahad أحد
5. Tareeq طريق
Written and performed by Youmna Saba
Recorded and mixed by Fadi Tabbal at Tunefork Studios, Beirut
Produced by Youmna Saba and Fadi Tabbal
Mastered by Stephan Mathieu
Photography & design by Jon Wozencroft
Published by Touch Music/Fairwood Music (UK) Ltd.
Wishah (‘Veil’ in Arabic) is a composition in five stages, written by Youmna Saba between 2021 and 2022, for voice, oud and electronics.
Following her previous solo works Njoum (2014) and Arb’een (40) (2017), this album marks a significant turning point in Saba’s journey. Created after leaving Beirut and settling in Paris, Wishah reveals a profound shift in her musical expression, informed by rigorous research in the sonic properties of sung Arabic phonemes and their role in shaping synthesised electronic sounds.
The album employs a digital extension for the oud, a concept developed by Saba in her research project Taïma’. This device enhances the oud’s sonic range, seamlessly integrating synthesised electronics. It also amplifies subtle, often overlooked sounds generated during playing, such as resonances and fingerboard friction.
The composition is organised into five distinct stages, each contributing to a process of gradual revelation. As the tracks unfold, they strip away layers of constructed emotions and perceptions that have been intricately woven over time, to expose a space that no longer exists. Wishah is a farewell to home.
The oud digital extension used on this record was developed by Nicolas Canot, and produced by Césaré – Centre National de Création Musicale, as part of the research project Taïma’, by Youmna Saba
Youmna Saba (Beirut 1984) is a musician, composer and musicologist. Her current research focuses on instrument and space resonances in different sonic and musical contexts. With four albums to this date, she has collaborated with musicians of different musical expressions such as Kamilya Jubran, Floy Krouchi, Mike Cooper and the Neue Vocalsolisten ensemble, and has taken part in numerous artist residencies. She is the laureate of the first sound residency at Quai Branly Museum, Paris (2022-2023) with her research project and installation “La Réserve des Non-Dits”, now on view at the museum; and a laureate of the music residency program at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2020-2021).