Songs of Sanctuary is a fusion of classical Syrian music and contemporary folk songs that tell the stories of people fleeing war and finding sanctuary in the North East, performed by singer-songwriter Sam Slatcher and viola player from the National Syrian Orchestra Raghad Haddad.
The songs bring together a thousand years of sanctuary seeking, from the arrival of an exiled monastic community seeking refuge from the Vikings in the year 995, to modern stories of fleeing the civil war in Syria.
The songs of sanctuary performance at The Cumberland Arms draws from a wider project called ‘Stories of Sanctuary’ curated by Sam Slatcher with residents of Durham, including Syrian refugees. The songs were written together in community workshops over the summer of 2018 and professionally recorded on an album called ‘Stories of Sanctuary’ with Ron Angus at Studio One, Co. Durham. This year, the project goes on tour across the UK, beginning in the North East in March 2019.
Sam Slatcher is an upcoming folk singer-songwriter living in Durham, North East England. His honest and reflective songwriting captures the humanity of people, places and communities, rooted in the social and political landscapes of folk music. To date, Sam has released a debut EP ‘In Unlikely Places’ (April 2018) and curated the album Stories of Sanctuary (Nov 2018). Visit: www.samslatcher.com to learn more.
Raghad Haddad is a highly accomplished viola player from the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus. She was a member of the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra and has performed in the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim. After seeking refuge from the Syrian civil war in the UK in 2016, Raghad now performs with the Orchestra of All Saints MAS in Brighton and the London Syrian Ensemble.
“Timely, emotional and beautiful” (Sean Cooney, The Young’uns)
“Stories of Sanctuary speaks loudly of hope in the midst of difficulty and hardship, light in the midst of dark and dangerous times. As you journey with Sam and his co-collaborators through Stories of Sanctuary you will experience great beauty, peace and musical depth” (Gareth Davies-Jones)
Tickets £10 (£8 for concessions). Book online: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/newcastle-upon-tyne/the-cumberland-arms/songs-of-sanctuary
Follow on Facebook @StoriesofSanctuary, Twitter @SanctuarySongs and visit www.storiesofsanctuary.co.uk to find out more.