Nahal, 2023. August 4th, 2020. Beirut explodes. The city, already partially shuttered by covid lockdowns and reeling from numerous political and social crises, is submerged by dust and smoke. Destroyed, gutted, at the mercy of a destiny unsparing with its blows, it finds itsels on its knees just when its residents were hoping for a moment of calm.
At Tunefork Studios, in the district of Bourj Hammoud, where Fadi Tabbal assembles the creations of adventurous musicians from all over the world (Field Works, Asil Ensemble, Mike Cooper, Oiseaux-Tempête, Praed, Youmna Saba), work goes on despite the storms raging around a community weary with grief. The recording studio still stands after the collapse, but other places did not survive. Many clubs and social spaces are in ruins. They were made of brick and mortar – no match against explosive ammonium nitrate – but they were first and foremost necessary and unifying refuges, cultural symbols full of a passion that not even the rising dawn could abrade.
Music composed, performed and recorded by Charbel Haber and Fadi Tabbal at Tunefork Studios, Beirut.