ListN Up: Shirine Saad (June 10, 2022)

ListN Up is a weekly series of artist-curated playlists that offer an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Shirine Saad is a Beirut-born multimedia storyteller, programmer and DJ focusing on culture and social change. She teaches Arts Journalism and Criticism at Brown University, where she is leading a new multimedia arts publication, and is a curator-in-residence at Brooklyn venue Public Records. She also runs the Gyal Tings! DJ learning series for BIPOC women, nonbinary and LGBTQ folks.

Hi! I’m Shirine Saad and I’m excited to share my playlist for Hiya Live Sessions, a celebration of radical womxn artists, DJs, and poets on the front lines of sonic and rhythmic experimentation. This year we present our second edition Ghazal: Neo-Mystics with a multi-city programme of concerts and clubnights, connecting underground movements in the SWANA region, diaspora communities, and around the world.   

“Patagonia Motet 1: Lago” by Faten Kanaan

German-born Syrian-Palestinian-Jordanian-Lebanese composer Faten Kanaan, now based in Brooklyn, creates rich, immersive soundscapes using synthesizers. The minimalist, meditative loops evoke boundless horizons.

“Departures” by Ganavya Doraiswamy and Rajna Swaminathan

Composers, musicians, and musicologists Rajna Swaminathan and Ganavya Doraiswamy often collaborate on experimental compositions reimagining venerable musical traditions including Ragas, Carnatic singing, and Jazz — healing and liberating fusions.

“Wahdi” by Maryam Saleh

One of my favorite singers and a seminal voice of the Arab Uprisings in Cairo, Maryam Saleh explores revolutionary songs from the Arab world with a radical, punk tone.

“Palmyra” by Nadah El Shazly

A leading artist on the thriving experimental SWANA music scene, Nadah El Shazly creates multilayered compositions with minimal vocals and traditional Arabic rhythms. The repetition and haunting words really inspire me.

“Tartaqa” by Makimakkuk

From Palestine, Makimakkuk is a rising MC rooted in the deep underground hip-hop and electronic music scene – a candid voice responding the daily oppression in her community.

“Al Hobb Al Mouharreb” by Deena Abdelwahed

Legendary Tunisian DJ Deena Abdelwahed creates dense tracks mixing heavy Techno beats with ambient noise and Arabic samples.

“Charr” by Liliane Chlela

Lebanese producer and DJ Liliane Chlela continues to react to the tragic developments in her home country with loud, dissonant dancefloor anthems that echo the despair and chaos of our generation.

“Gaza Border Violence” by Bergsonist

The prolific Moroccan-born producer Bergsonist channels a sense of dystopian rage with prolific experiments in percussive rhythm and electronic loops.

“Candle Light – 700 Bliss Remix” by 700 Bliss

Nothing to Declare, a new album by the power noise rap duo composed of DJ Haram (Discwoman) and Moor Mother, is the most exciting musical news of the year for me. This futuristic meditation on prayer, industrial beats and glitch is a powerful response to our post-apocalyptic realities.


I CARE IF YOU LISTEN is an editorially-independent program of the American Composers Forum, funded with generous donor and institutional support. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and may not represent the views of ICIYL or ACF. 

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