Studio-X Joins Muslim World Music Day With Global Meme Collaborative Music Project

NEW YORK, APRIL 12, 2011

The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation’s Studio-X global network and the Columbia Global Centers: Middle East joined the ARChive for Contemporary Music’s Muslim World Music Day, a collaborative worldwide effort to identify and catalogue tens of thousands of recordings of diverse musical forms inspired by Islam from around the world in a single day. As part of this real-time global grassroots effort to embrace and share a broad understanding of “Muslim music” as sacred and secular, traditional and contemporary, locally rooted and globally mobile, the ARC, Studio-X and Columbia Global Centers: Middle East developed the Global Meme, a collaborative music project involving musicians in Amman, Mumbai and New York. “When B. George (ARC Director and Founder) invited Studio-X to take part in Muslim World Music Day, we immediately started thinking about how the cultural project would engage the Studio-X nodes around the world in real-time and activate a collaborative spirit,” says Malwina Lys-Dobradin, Director of Global Network Programming.

Beginning in Amman, artists Humam Eid and Abdulhaleem Khaktib performed traditional Arabic songs of the Ottoman period on the oud and qanun in front of a live audience. The song recordings were in turn reinterpreted by musicians in Mumbai who composed a piece inspired by a collection of Rumi poems titled “Hidden Music.” To complete the musical telephone game, Christopher Washburne, Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance program at Columbia University and leader of the highly acclaimed Latin jazz group SYOTOS, reinterpreted Mumbai’s song with a final jazz piece.

“It was a wonderful experience sounding out the mission of Columbia's Global Centers and Studio X through jazz improvisation. We took Mumbai's version and flipped it inside out structurally, starting with their ending (which was inspired by Amman's performance), constructing improvisations based off the original musical modes recorded in Amman and then progressing to the newly composed material in Mumbai for our ending,” said Washburne. “Jazz has always been a traveling music and musical sounds have never been easily contained within national and cultural borders. This project allowed us to sonically traverse the planet and celebrate Islamic musical and cultural traditions. It was an honor to take part in that journey!”

Columbai Global Center: Middle East


New York, NY


Now in our 25 year, the ARChive of Contemporary Music is the largest collection of popular music in the world, with over two million recordings. It is supported by a Board of Advisors comprised of leading musicians, songwriters and directors, including David Bowie, Jellybean Benitez, Jonathan Demme, Michael Feinstein, Jerry Leiber, Youssou N'Dour, Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Nile Rodgers, Todd Rundgren, Fred Schneider, Martin Scorsese, Paul Simon and Mike Stoller.

The Columbia Global Centers: Middle East is one of the first in a network of Columbia Global Centers the University has launched around the world. The Center, headquartered in Amman, Jordan, provides a base for scholarly activities throughout the Middle East and advances the University's academic partnerships and programs in the region. The Center's activities are organized around four pillars: research, education, applied scholarship, and outreach. Activities of the Columbia Global Centers: Middle East include a wide range of disciplines, from education to architecture to environmental sustainability, and represent partnerships with nearly a dozen different schools and institutes at Columbia University.

Studio-X is a global network of advanced research laboratories for exploring the future of cities launched in 2008 by Mark Wigley, Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. With locations in Amman, Beijing, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, and Rio de Janeiro, it is the first truly global network for real-time exchange of projects, people, and ideas between regional leadership cities in which the best minds from Columbia University can think together with the best minds in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia.


Humam Eid – oud
Abdulhaleem Khaktib – qanun

Prasad Ruparel – guitar
Geetu Hinduja – vocals
Marie Paul – vocals
Kiyomi Talaulicar – guitar

FFEAR (Forum for Electro Acoustic Research) featuring:
Hans Mathisen – guitar
Ole Mathisen – saxophone
Chris Washburne – trombone
Leo Traversa – bass
Tony Moreno – drums