BEIRUT: Through merging a variety of musical influences like jazz, classical and traditional oriental tunes, gifted twins Sary and Ayad Khalifeh made sure to share their unique vision with their Lebanese audience.
On Tuesday, Bechara El Rahi theatre in the Notre Dame University campus welcomed an audience of hundreds as Lebanese-French Khalifeh brothers performed their original album “Soobia” for the first time in their homeland.
In the album, Sary and Ayad express a distinctive perspective on the current music scene. Ayad told Annahar: “Sary and I composed the nine tracks of ‘Soobia’ fueled by images from our childhood memories,” adding that the name of the album itself summarizes their nostalgia for the days when they used to gather around the soobia to breathe its warmth.
For the Khalifeh twins, the term does not only define the traditional heating machine used mostly in rural villages, but it also encompasses the nostalgic childhood memories of every Lebanese person.
As they told Annahar, they try to help their listeners recreate this nostalgia through their vivid music.
They began pursuing music at the age of five. They both started out with piano lessons, which attracted Ayad more than Sary who delved into the world of the violoncello. Through their sizzling passion for breathing and birthing music, the brothers grew into acclaimed musicians who have received honorary prizes and performed at the most prestigious venues with national and international orchestras.
The brothers’ path to stardom was catalyzed by their orchestration of a new genre of music.
In Ayad’s words: “We’ve been musicians since we were preschoolers. Music has always been our profession. We cannot imagine doing anything else with our lives.”
After all, the twins were raised in a musical family who ensured that their creative talents were exposed to the world. Their father, Tony Khalifeh, a violin instructor at the Lebanese Conservatory realized how gifted his sons are and did everything in his power to help them obtain excellence.
Both their maternal and paternal uncles, Charbel Rouhana and Marcel Khalifeh, are well-known oud players and composers who also charged their nephews’ fascination with creating music.
While performing the original tracks of the album on Tuesday, Sary and Ayad weaved poetry of a different kind by sharing their unique and authentic take on music with their audience.
The performance also featured Florient Allirot (electric bass), David Paycha (drums), and Zad Khalifeh (percussion), along with the Khalifeh brothers. Two guest musicians Charbel and Nadim Rouhana (accordion and oud, respectively), also joined the band in the performance of two separate tracks.
Gaya Tarhini, one of the concert attendees told Annahar: “I am speechless. I’ve been having goosebumps throughout the entire performance!”
Tarhini’s impression was shared by many of the spectators.
All throughout the concert, the audience's loud bravos, applause, and whistles, along with repeated requests for an encore filled the auditorium.
“Soobia” is the second album of the duet. They produced their first album “Naseej,” alongside Lebanese singer-songwriter Mike Massy in 2014.
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