Urkesh in music
    musical projects related to the site

     The site of Urkesh has inspired several musical projects over time:

The "Urkesh Suite" by Enzo Sartori

Urkesh Suite      Enzo Sartori composed "Urkesh Suite" for the exhibition "From the depths of time: at the origin of communication and community in ancient Syria", which was hosted by the Rimini Meeting (24-30 August 2014).
     Concise, contrasting and rarefied at the same time, the "Urkesh Suite" consists of a series of variations on the oldest known score from archaeological excavations in Syria, dating back to the thirteenth century BC.
     Enzo Sartori describes it as follows: "I have written a series of very short variations that come together, mainly using the beginning of the Hurrian theme. I reviewed the four descending notes F, E and D, and other small details of the original theme, as if they were used in different eras and styles. […] The suite aims to guide through colors and suggestions that are different, yet recognizable in a single matrix, as if you could move in a building made of time."

     Listen to the Urkesh Suite on Youtube.

A musical encounter between Domodossola and Qamishli.

     The last room of the exhibition at the Rimini Meeting "I millenni per l'oggi. Archaeology against war: yesterday's Urkesh in today's Syria" (24-30 August 2018), closely linked to the sensory dimension and dedicated exclusively to music, has particularly impressed visitors.
     We invited them to break away from the visual dimension and gather in a dark and silent space, in which they were to give absolute attention to the musical interpretation of some very young composers, involved in our school project.
     Here we present the audio and video of that room: we too, "readers" and users of this website, are invited in the first minutes to immerse ourselves in the darkness and listen to the music inspired by Urkesh, composed by the students of Domodossola gathered for the occasion in the OcheStrana, directed by Enzo Sartori.
     Then, after the first five minutes of darkness and sound, the sensations are reversed: in a "deafening" silence, we see the very young musicians of the Roj Ava Orchestra in an exceptional concert they held on the monumental staircase of Urkesh. The music they chose for this event, written by Merle Isaac, is entitled "Gipsy Overture".
     Finally, sound and image come together: yesterday's Urkesh comes to life, and resonates with today's music.
     The success of this extraordinary performance was due to the Orchestra conductor, Mohammad Ismail, in collaboration with our local staff archaeologist, Amer Ahmad.

     On this page you can find an explanation of the different pieces of the suite "Urkesh beyond Urkesh" composed by Orchestrana.

Orchestra Roj Ava
Roj Ava violins