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Egyptian Center for Culture and Art
Activities and Programs

Activities: 
Systematically recording, documenting and archiving current  practice so as to make it available to scholars, musicians and to an increasingly broad-based audience. ECCA has developed a data base of archived material, using software specially developed for that purpose.
Additionally, ECCA is developing its documentation policy in support of an ethical code that negotiates with performers as respected individuals having names and rights.
2- Providing increased and diverse performance possibilities for its practitioners, thereby expanding the audience for this tradition, renewing the lively performer-audience relationship and increasing performers' opportunities for financial sustainability.        
 ECCA's commitment to high technical standards of documentation, whether photographic, film or audio recording, also facilitates the distribution of material beyond local audiences to television stations, festivals and photo exhibitions.
3- Organising encounters among artists (musicians, poets,), and technicians involved in the performing arts (sound and light), bringing them together in the context of workshops, rehearsals, facilitating their participation in festivals or just socialising. Makan offers these artists and technicians the basic and necessary infrastructure, together with an ambiance and spirit that can inspire the creation of new forms and traditions founded on a solid and rich musical basis.
4- Expanding its already substantial network of contacts in order to further cooperation and the establishment of partnerships with a wide range of cultural organisations and academic institutions from all over the world.
ECCA will continue to build on its activities and strategies
to promote creative dialogue among people and cultures and to encourage perception of these traditions as important and critical to the human community. 

Programs:
Two weekly musical evenings open to the public at Makan, the only unplugged space in Cairo (!)
Field research
Workshops that bring together musicians from different traditions
Production of CD's and documentary films
Audio and visual documentary archives
Promoting and organisating musicians' participation in festivals


ECCA achievements in the last year of its existence are summarized below:
1 - More than 25 hours of audio/video recording and archiving of material from Upper Egypt (Nubian Fadjika, Nubian Kenouz , Arab El-Okailat and Ja'afra)
- Staging 15 musical performances
- Production of documentary film on Arab El-Okailat and Al-Ja'afra
- Staging a photo exhibition and establishing a photo archive of musicians
- Producing and releasing one CD
    (We are presently negotiating with with a distribution company to release a cassette edition for the popular market) 
2- more than 30 hours of audio/video recording and archiving of material of the Zar usic and chants (the three styles: Sa'idi, Tamboura and Abou El-Gheit)
- Staging 15 musical performances
- over 50 performances in Cairo (Makan, El Sawy, Opera House)
- Production of documentary film on the music of Abou El-Gheit
- Producing and releasing one CD
    (We are presently negotiating with with a distribution company to release an inexpensive cassette edition for the popular market)
3-established contact with many organizations and networks, (including the creation of an e-group, egyptmusicnetwork@yahoogroups.com), such as Arab Artists Resources and Training, Arab Music Retreat, Confluences Mediterranee, Prof. Michael Frishkopf-Associate Director, Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology and Multimedia, FolkwaysAlive! University of Alberta, Canada (archive and research), Prof Scott Marcus, ethnomusicologist, etc. 

-ECCA has facilitated the research of two scholars from the University of Lyons, France (Roselyne Burger, Institut d'Edudes Politiques de Lyon-"L'Adaptation des Musiques Traditionnelles Populaires a la Scene et la Conservation du Patrimoine Vivant en Egypte: Reflexion sur l'Introduction de la Musique Rituelle du Zar dans le Projet Culturel de l'ECCA") and the University of Naples Frederico II, Italy (Giuseppina De Angelo-"Thesis on the Zar Cult from an Ethnomusicological Perspective").
-Successful residencies and workshops were implemented, bringing together Zar and Nubian musicians with visiting musicians, among them, Toma Sidibe' and his band, 15 days;  Bum Cello (duo),  12 days; Gnawa Diffusion (rencontre); Gerard Haze (electronic music), one CD released; Etha Theatre (Oxford University), a DVD is in I production; eight one-day dance classes with Austrian-American,…..
 
- Festival participation.  Thanks to the success of the performance and recording work, ECCA performers have achieved high visibilty among relevant organisations and festivals in Europe and have received many invitations from festivals. ECCA is currently facilitating the participation of El Mazaher in the Belgian festival, "Voix de Femmes". Contact with the Anna Lindh Foundation in Alexandria led to participation of local troupes in the prestigious "Fiesta del Mar" program celebrating the launching of this new foundation.
 Current projects include:
1- Wind instruments (arghoul, mizmar, settawiyya, kawala), their performers and makers. ECCA proposes to produce five archival recordings of these endangered instruments. To encourage and support the transfer of knowledge ECCA will bring the very few remaining skilled performers together with students in a workshop context. In addition, ECCA will bring these musicians together with other musicians working in a wide range of musical styles. Finally, ECCA will support the process of making the instruments and produce a film which documents both the lives of the musicians and the making of their instruments.
2- Vocal music of the Delta and Alexandria.  ECCA proposes to make 20 archival recordings and present 20 concerts of the ballads and celebratory songs of these regions to general and specialized publics, produce one CD and one documentary film on this material.
3-religious vocal music (inshad, madih, zikr, tawashih and religious narratives). ECCA proposes to make 20 archival recordings, present 20 concerts to general and specialized publics, produce one CD and one documentary film of this material.
4-production of "Egyptian Mozart 2"
5-translations and publication of Dr. Mohamed Omran's book, The Music of Egypt's Gypsies
Press and more information:
 www.egyptmusic.org
http://hebdo.ahram.org.eg/arab/ahram/2005/12/28/arts2.htm
http://www.babelmed.net/index.php?menu=1&cont=1525&lingua=en
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-hi/arabic/world_news/newsid_4404000/4404414.stm
http://www.egypttoday.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=3355

  
 
 
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