The Songwriting Workshop
by Ramy Essam a.k.a. the “Singer of Tahrir Square”
In a series of six workshops for Arabic-speaking participants organised by PM’s PLURIversity at the Museum of Impossible Forms, the Egyptian musician Ramy Essam shared his knowledge and skills with students who learned to write songs.
A digital poster was widely distributed as part of an open call for participation:
This workshop started with sessions practicing the elements of rhyme, melody and beats, and moving to songs and tracks. The focus was on acoustic and hip-hop, rock, hard-rock and other styles popular with the participating group.
Recordings of friends, strangers, officials, professional musicians and amateurs as well as the wider sound environment became part of the mix. Each participant learned how to join in to create a song. Basic skills and know-how for working in a “music studio” were developed. There were 3-4 participants during each workshop.
The songs written and composed by the participants will presented to the public at the Museum of Impossible Forms in December 2018. The songs will be recorded, re-mixed and uploaded to be listened to online.
“The Microphone” is a PLURIstudio Workshop is a part of the PLURIversity
Ramy Essam an Egyptian artist, best known for his appearances in Tahrir Square in Cairo during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. He is one of the few singers in Middle East to sing hard rock.
In 2011 Ramy shot to international fame as the “voice of the Egyptian revolution”. Since late 2014, Ramy has been living in Finland and Sweden, which gave him again the chance to create and perform freely. He has used the opportunity to spread his message around the world as an ambassador of the Egyptian revolution. He remains one of the strongest voices to speak up for the younger generation in Egypt in its struggle for a progressive and modern society. He has also has become an symbol of social activism internationally, and a beacon of hope. Ramy stands for gender equality, freedom, social justice, equity, health care, minority rights, education and peace.
One of Ramy’s biggest hits, Segn Bel Alwan (featuring Lebanese rapper Malikah) was released in 2016. The song highlighting women’s situation and the issue of gender equality in Egypt. It became a big hit, and indeed one of the most watched videos in Egypt in the weeks after its release.
Ramy has also cooperated with the UK artist PJ Harvey on The Camp, a single released in June 2017 to benefit displaced children in the Lebanese Bekaa Valley fleeing the Syrian Civil War.
In 2017 Ramy released his album Resala Ela Magles El Amn (“A Letter To The UN Security Council”) on Universal Music MENA. The album is a mix of re-recorded older tracks and new compositions. The lyrical topics range from depictions of daily hardships of normal people, the struggle for social justice and women´s rights, environmental issues and criticism of the regime.
PLURIversity is a Perpetuum Mobilε project funded by the Kone Foundation
A special thanks to the Museum of Impossible Forms for hosting the workshops.