Saturday Jul 30, 2022

The healing harp - a Syrian heart for one world.

Maya Youssef is known as the Queen of the Qanun, a virtuoso and composer of this beautiful Middle Eastern instrument described as a flat harp with 78 strings and possibly a descendant of the Egyptian harp. Maya honours Arabic classical music traditions with pathways into Western classical, Latin and jazz music. Her music responds to her vivid dreams and spiritual awakening, war and domestic abuse, love and separation. Maya's music is a prayer for peace and healing which she consciously shares with her audiences. In Maya’s words the act of playing music is the opposite of death and destruction; it is a life- and hope-affirming act and an antidote to what is happening, not only in her home of Syria, but in the world. We talk about how she became Queen of an instrument deemed only for men, music and heartbreak, surviving her personal war and finding the universal home. 

Maya Youseff holding the qanun, a flat harp.

Series Audio Editor - Joey Quan.

Closed Captions are added to all interviews in this series. Read only, text versions of every interview can also be found here: www//

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