Composer Nancy Mounir tours Europe to present rare Egyptian classics

Eslam Omar , Saturday 22 Oct 2022

Egyptian composer Nancy Mounir is launching a tour in Europe to present her latest project ‘Nozhet El-Nofous’, which revives rare oldies from the Egyptian early 20th century.

Nancy Mounir

Mounir is deputing Nozhet El-Nofous in Europe on Saturday with a solo performance in Bergen, Norway, as part of the ATAMATA Festival.

She will also perform in the Netherlands and Germany next month. On 11 November, Mounir will be accompanied by her full band in Utrecht amid the Le Guess Who Festival, five days before her band will feature the Avian Quartet in a third concert at the Stadtgarten Concert Hall, Cologne, Germany on 16 November.

More concerts are planned and will be revealed later, according to project producer Simsara Music.

Mounir’s full band (violin and theremin) includes; Youssra El Hawary (accordion), Ahmed Amin (double bass), Mounir Maher (piano), Nadia Safwat (trumpet) and the Flair Quartet (strings), as well as Adham Zidan and Sarah El-Miniway (readers).

Nozhet El-Nofous is a live performance of Mounir’s new arrangements that accompany repaired song recordings of Saleh Abdel-Hay’s Khafif Khafif, Abdel-Latif El-Banna’s Matkhafsh Alayya, Mounira El-Mahdeya’s Baad El-Esha, Hayat Sabry’s Wallah Testahel Ya Albi, and Fatma Serry’s Ana Bas Saktalak, as well as rare radio and newspaper interviews for some of them.

The unique audio-visual music show that revives classic works of a number of Egyptian singers of the early 20th century took Mounir almost six years of research and preparation, with the debut showcased in October 2021 at the Arab Music Institute Theatre, months before the studio album version was released on various music platforms.

“The project is like a discovery tour to explore what happened before the Umm Kulthum era. An interesting and inspiring journey to see where we stand now and to know the relationship with our ancestors,” Mounir told Ahram Online in an earlier interview, explaining that she likes to experiment with a different formation each concert.

The Alexandria-born Mounir became a player in Cairo’s indie music scene after she moved to the capital over 14 years ago when she was influenced by a workshop given by Grammy Award winner Fathy Salama in 2005.

She established her career after taking part in projects with well-known artists such as Dina El-Wedidi and Massar Egbari.

Mounir has also composed and arranged for a number of films and theatre plays, including the recent Netflix’s short film National Day of Mourning in Mexico which was directed by Khairy Beshara, in which she was also featured as an actress.

On 26 September, Mounir and her band played Nozet El-Nofous at the iconic Egyptian-Armenian Nasibian Studio Theater, donating all proceeds to the restoration of the art venue's historic edifice.

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