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Salah Ammo & Peter Gabis

Oriental Worldmusic Duo

„A melancholic Masterpiece, wide like the dessert, archaic and beautiful.“ Andreas Bovelinko, Kurier

„Profound, moving and great!“ Wolfgang Taschl, Concerto

Salah Ammo lives in Vienna since 2012 because of the situation in his home country Syria. Everything he brought from there was his Bouzouk (a Lute with a long neck), his music, his passion and his musical dream. The touching voice of Salah Ammo is accompanied by the extraordinary and sensitive instrumentation and the overtone-singing of Peter Gabis. The compositions are in kurdish and arabic language and provide a space for the two musicians for their touching and versatile musical communication.

In 2014 the Duo was in the Finale of the „Austrian World Music Award“. Their recent CD „Assi“ wasnominated for the Bestenliste of the renowned „Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik“.

Their recent highlight was playing in front of 50.000 people at the Heldenplatz in Vienna, at the Festival “Voices for Refugees”. Salah accepted an invitation for „TEDxVienna-Conference“, where he will give a motivational speech and perform with Peter

The musicians

Before moving to Damascus to study at the higherInstitute of Music, Salah Ammo lived and grew up in the north of Syria, where Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs, Armenians and Assyrians used to live together for thousands of years. He was influenced by the music of these people and their cultures, and gained theexperience to present it, especially with his group JOUSSOUR (in english: “Bridges”) which is considered one of the most important bands presented these people’s music. Due to the situation in Syria the musicians of this project spread into all parts of the world. Salah worked at the music Academy in Homs as a teacher and played in many different musical settings.

Peter Gabis is jazz-drummer, percussionist and overtone-singer. He studied jazzdrums in Vienna and New York. He is well known as a solid sideman in the vibrant viennese jazz-scene, played countless concerts and tours in Europe, USA, Australia and Africa. In the past years he focused on ethnic music, meditative soundscapes and overtone singing. Besides about 40 CD productions where he is responsible for a strong rhythmic backbone, he released his solo CD „Rhythms of Silence“ in 2011, with his own compositions for percussion and voice. He teaches jazzdrums at the Vienna Conservatory and also gives workshops for Sound-Massage and overtone singing.

The music

The project was founded in 2013, when Salah Ammo and Peter Gabis met in Vienna. The two musicians are working minimalistic and sensitive, the voice is only acompanied by the Bouzouk (a syrian long-neck lute) and percussion. The unusal instrumentation which is used by Peter Gabis in parts of the songs enforces the emotional dimension. Besides classical oriental instruments he also plays Hang, gongs, singingbowls and other instruments from all over the world. Salah Ammo contributes his overlapping and broad sense of oriental music. Mixed with Peter Gabis experience in Jazz, Worldmusic and overtone singing they create unusual soundscapes and moods. The compositions reflect the opennes of the musicians, to combine different styles of many cultures, and interprete them in a new way. The lyrics go deep, and even when the listeners don’t understand the language, the emotion is transported very well.

The Duo presents its music quite entertaining, without losing the deeper background of the meaning of the lyrics and the songs.

Facts to their recent Album „Assi – A Story of a Syrian River“ 

„Assi“ is the name of a river in Syria, which is in western world known as Orontes. „Assi“ means „the rebell“, and the river has this name, because he is the only one in the region of the Levante, who flows from south to north.

The title of their brand new CD is a metaphor for the fate of millions of Syrian people, whose history is changed drastically by the things that happen in their home country. „Assi“ is the musical answer of a man, who lost his home, but not his hope for a better world.

Recorded and mixed in „Tonzauber – Studio im Wiener Konzerthaus“ by Georg Burdicek, mastered at „Gold Chamber Mastering“ by Horst Pfaffelmayer. The cover and the booklet was designed by the syrian artist Ahmad Ali, who lives in Paris. The booklet gives information about the musicians and the songs, and is in 4 languages (kurdish, arabic, english and german). The CD is released on Be Now Records and distributed by Paladino Media GmbH.