A terrific artist who has recently appeared on our radar is Palestinian indie singer Terez Sliman. An exceptional voice and talent which she puts to use in a variety of ways, through her solo work or in plays, or with accomplished Portuguese musicians as part of the project Mina WorldMusic.
Qasida Fi Zujaja (Poem in a Bottle) from the 2013 Palestinian production Al-Taghreeba (The Exodus), which commemorated the Palestinian Nakba of 1948, is a shining example of how the Haifa-born vocalist applies her talents to a wide range of productions.
With collaborators such as Yazan Ibraheem, Sliman also performs musical pieces inspired by the works of Arab poets. A highlight of this usage is Salat (Prayer), with words taken from ‘A History Torn Apart in the Body of a Woman’ by famed Syrian poet Adonis.
Sliman teamed up with Portuguese singer Sofia Portugal and instrumentalists Rui Ferreira, Hélder Costa and André Oliveira to form Mina, a charming jazz-centric project that cleverly reworks traditional Arab folk music. Their first track was Betti Sahranah a song originating from the Northern Tunisian city of Al-Kaf.
Their second release, Ashtata takes its inspiration from a Moroccan children’s song which later became imbued with political significance. What was a joyful ditty about Ploughmen’s children was later reworked by Paris-based group Handala to cast light on a critical period in the eighties, when Moroccan farmers faced dire economic conditions that coincided with the implementation of an IMF-imposed structural reform program.
Both in her solo work or with Mina, there is plenty to explore in the work of Sliman and the musicians she often collaborates with. And also plenty to anticipate regarding all future projects. Stay tuned for more from this musician with an imitable style equally powerful booming from the stage of the theatre and the musical stage.