“I still remember…” A movie by the Palestinian musician Adnan Joubran.
The Palestinian Trio musicians Adnan, Wissam and Samir Joubran, arrived at the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish’s temple 40 days after his death. The memories of their last days together, while performing in Ramallah and Arles. The trio produced a film that will be broadcasted on Palestine TV at 22.50 tonight (Palestine and Europe time).
I met The Palestinian Oud musicians Joubran Trio at St. George’s Concert Hall in Bristol last year
On Wednesday the 29th of September 2010, the Palestinian musicians Le Trio Joubran were accompanied by the brilliant Palestinian percussionist Yousef Hbeisch.
Le Trio Joubran, Samir, Wissam and Adnan, are the fourth generation of a Palestinian family of Oud makers.
The three Oud masters are brothers from the city of Nazareth, in northern Palestine. Samir, the leader of the band, was introduced to the Oud by his father at the age of five. When he was just nine, Samir joined the Nazareth Institute of Music. In 1995 he graduated from the highly prestigious Muhammad Abdul Wahhab Conservatory, in Cairo. Samir’s first album, Taqaseem, came out in 1996, and was followed by his second album, Sou’fahm (Misunderstanding) in 2001. For now, Samir and his group are the only Palestinian musicians performing outside the borders of their home country. Samir is also the first musician to be awarded a two-year scholarship to Italy in 2003-2004 through the Writer’s Asylum Program organized by the International Parliament of Writers.
The Trio suffered all sorts of harassments including cancellations of their performances in their home city of Nazareth by arbitrary Israeli orders.
Samir gave tribute to the renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who contributed to his musical poetic understanding by saying, “I learned from Darwish what no college can teach me.”
Samir has a good experience in creating music for documentary films as well. He composed the original sound track for Rashir Masharawi’s Ticket to Jerusalem and three tracks from his album Tamaas were included in the sound track of Inguélézi. Three titles from Randana were also used in Parvez Sharmas’ documentary A Jihad for Love.
Samir told us that night, “We will travel the world with our music, for it is our weapon against oppression and no one can take our music or our Palestinian heritage away from us.” He also said, “We are fighting for peace. We are campaigning to end the occupation in Palestine and this is our message to the world.”
Samir Joubran, the eldest brother, started his music career in 1996, nearly a decade before the formation of the Joubran Trio. He released two albums, Taqaseem in 1996, and Sou’fahm in 2001 before inviting Wissam to join him on the third album, Tamaas released in 2003. Adnan joined his brothers’ band in August 2004, and at the Parisian Luxembourg Gardens, Le Joubran Trio came to life.
Wissam is the second son of Hatem Jubran, who signed him up for violin lessons at the Nazareth conservatory and gave him a small Oud for his ninth birthday. Wissam performed in local Palestinian concerts and on the theater stage played the role of a singing Oud player in a play about the life of the renowned Iraqi poet Moudaffar El Nawab. When Wissam was twelve, he seized the opportunity to take his dreams and talent all the way to Paris’ Arab World Institute, where he shared the stage with his brother Samir. In 2005, Wissam was the first Arab graduate from the Antonio Stradivari Conservatory, in Cremona, and at the same time he followed his father’s footsteps by becoming a master luthier, making the Joubran Trio’s Ouds, and carrying his four-generation family’s legacy into the future.
The third brother, Adnan, wanted to become a percussionist since he was a boy. Yet, he was captivated by the Oud. By the age of fifteen, he took part in Oud-playing contests, and he was one of five winners of a contest held in Palestine. Adnan provides musical accompaniment for the Fattoumi-Lamoureux dance company, in addition to his work with the Trio and performing for Parisian audiences the combined music and circus show called EKO DU OUD (the Oud’s echo).
The Trio’s mother, Ibtisam Hanna Joubran, is known for her mastery of singing the Mowashahat (a form of singing that originated in Arab Spain).
The Trio are haunted, like all Palestinians, by exile and by the feeling of being forced to keep on the move, searching for a “home away from home,” like almost six million Palestinian refugees. This can be felt in the titles of their albums. At the end of the successful concert, the four Palestinian musicians played a piece called Asfar, which means “Travels,” then signed a number of their albums for the audience.
Adnan told me, “We are Palestinians and we identify ourselves as such, but no one even notices that we are Christian Palestinians, because for us, Palestinians, it does not matter what faith we embrace, even though we are campaigning for the freedom of our country through our heritage and music.”