Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New article: Trio Joubran collection reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 12th April 2013 The Trio Joubran are perhaps Palestine’s best-known exponents of the oud, a traditional Arabic stringed instrument. Three brothers from a family of musicians and instrument-makers … Continue reading

April 13, 2013 · Leave a comment

Singer on the Metro

My old comrade Adam Shapiro just posted this short video, taken on the Paris Metro, on YouTube. It’s profoundly moving, but why, in what sense? Because of the woman’s lovely … Continue reading

April 12, 2013 · 1 Comment

Maggie Songs!

A quick selection of songs about Maggie Thatcher (and now all of them are punk!). Even today, I’ve been amazed to see – once it’s all put in one place … Continue reading

April 8, 2013 · 2 Comments

Jazz, BDS and meditation: a rant

This wasn’t the post I intended to write today, but someone (who is welcome to identify themselves but who is in a bit of a vulnerable position vis-a-vis the Israeli … Continue reading

January 1, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Intoxicating Rose Garden

One of the joys of being a student is the discounts. Not in noisy pubs, but in Edinburgh’s wide range of music and theatrical venues. As has been observed many … Continue reading

November 24, 2012 · Leave a comment

New article: Khyam Allami interviewed

The Arab Review, 12th June 2012 “Allami – raised in Syria and London, of Iraqi origins – is hard to pin down. His projects range from debut album Resonance/Dissonance (nominated … Continue reading

June 12, 2012 · Leave a comment

UK Immigration vs art, sanity (again)

Disappointed to receive this message this morning, from the wonderful ‘ud player Khyam Allami: Due to some very unfortunate circumstances beyond our control, we’ve had to start the Double Duo … Continue reading

April 13, 2012 · 1 Comment

Two minutes of silence

On Friday, at 11am, the tutor in my Arabic class stopped us all for 2 minutes of silence. It is years and years since I was last in a place … Continue reading

November 13, 2011 · 1 Comment

Omar Rahman on an inspirational attempt to keep Palestinian culture alive in Jerusalem

Omar Rahman has contributed this moving feature to the 972 online magazine, covering the Al-Quds Underground Festival. This semi-clandestine array of performances and exhibitions was, say organisers, a response to … Continue reading

October 24, 2011 · Leave a comment

Michael Nyman at the Brickworks

Artists are supposed to have to suffer for their work, but occasionally audiences have to endure a certain amount of discomfort too. Like today, when viewing composer Michael Nyman’s short … Continue reading

June 10, 2011 · Leave a comment

Another R.I.P

The great Gil Scott-Heron, of course. And, lest we forget, from last May.

May 28, 2011 · Leave a comment

Trio Joubran at Band on the Wall

It’s a small comment on the general wrongness of things when Trio Joubran’s long-awaited appearance in Manchester is a night at Band On The Wall, rather than, say, a packed … Continue reading

September 24, 2010 · 1 Comment