10 Years After Divorce: Lebanese Tania Saleh to launch new album exploring the condition of women

Ahram Online , Wednesday 17 Feb 2021

Tania Saleh's new album, 10 A.D., will release by the end of February, with concerts promoting the album scheduled for April

Tania Saleh

Lebanese artist and songwriter Tania Saleh is gearing up to the launch of her new album 10 A.D. (10 Years After Divorce) on 26 February.

The songs from the album will be available across online stores and aired at NRJ Egypt radio station. Saleh will also hold concerts promoting the album in Cairo and Alexandria throughout the month of April. The details of the concerts are yet to be released.  

Saleh’s album, 10 A.D., “celebrates and explores the condition of women from different angles, particularly the reality divorced women must deal with in a country such as Lebanon,” reads the press release.

The lyrics written by the singer tackle many issues experienced by divorced women finding themselves in specific social contexts, such as “the one’s right to decide over one’s body, midlife crisis, vanity, hyper consumerism, social pressures, addiction to the virtual world, and the injustice of the patriarchal Middle East.”

Commenting on the new album, Saleh says “I live in a world where inspiration abounds, but there is no state support for culture. I have written many songs about the conditions we live in at Lebanon, in this divide between a nostalgic idea of a country we have heard about in songs, but which we have never owned, and our unquenchable thirst for the economic welfare and cultural openness we see in other countries. The result is that over time, we are losing our sense of belonging to a country we can call our own.”

Saleh clarifies that 10 A.D. is embedded in the Indie Arabic music style, where the Mediterranean melodies are arranged for Arabic traditional instruments and classical string quartet, “all this wrapped in an electronic landscape somewhere between rock and trip-hop.”

In 10 A.D., Saleh worked on music production together with Oivind Kristiansen. In the album, she is joined by a string quartet from Oslo, alongside Kristiansen on piano and programming.

The album also includes contributions from Egyptian musicians playing oud, trumpet, guitar, kanoun, drums, double bass, and Arabic percussion, especially in parts of the recording that were done in Saleh’s Cairo studio. The mixing has been done by Martin Abrahamsen at Rainbow studio.

10 A.D. is Saleh’s third cooperation with Kirkelig Kulturverksted, a Norwegian company and record label. The album’s release was supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Tania Saleh
Tania Saleh
The '10 A.D.' album cover

Well-known to Middle Eastern and North African audiences, Saleh began her musical vocation in 1990, writing songs that “mirror the reality of the Lebanese/Arab social and political turmoil,” reads the biography section on her website.

Since then, Saleh has “experimented with various musical genres, which has resulted in a fresh and original mix of Lebanese tarab, mawwal, and dabke flavoured with folk, alternative rock, bossa nova, and jazz.”

Saleh has a long CV of collaborations with international and regional artists, among the most notable names being Ziad Rahbani, Toufic Farroukh, Charbel Rouhana, Ibrahim Maalouf, RZA, Nile Rodgers, and Charlotte Caffey.

Her repertoire comprises of several studio albums: Tania Saleh (2002); Wehde (2011); Live at DRM (2012); Shwayit Souwar (A Few Images, 2014), which she dedicated to Arab women; and Tania Saleh - Intersection (2017), in addition to a few compilation albums and collaborations with many musicians in their albums.

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