Tanjaret Daghet, a three members rock band from Syria found their home in Lebanon, Beirut where they are able to make the music they want in a time of wars and revolutions.
Violinst Haian Arshied walks into the room, showing his roomates a video about the bombing of the High Institute of Music in Damascus, where the three members of the band Tanjaret Daghet (in English: Pressure Pot) graduated from. The picture showed a destroyed room but five basses were still standing, Omran said to his roomates “Today they killed the instruments.”
Khaled Omran (Bass & Lead Vocals), Dani Shukri (Drums) and Tarek Ziad Khuluki (Electric Guitar, Vocals & Electronics) are originally from Damscus, Syria but are now residing and rocking in the cultural center of Lebanon, Beirut where they came in 2011. In 2013 they released their first Album called 180 Degrees which can be listened to its fullest on soundcloud.
Their name Tanjaret Daghet can be understand as a symbolism of the creativtiy and discovery while making music. Their Facebook page describes the name Tanjaret Daghet as follows:
It is derived from the Arabic term for a pressure pot, which in essence, expresses the sentiment on a social level which the youth of the world are facing at this very moment.
Raed el-Khazen, a fellow musician explained this in term in his own words
“We live in a pressure pot – the situation of this generation is a pressure pot coming to its boiling point. The idea they present goes beyond the Arab world. It’s a generational thing, but in the Arab world they feel it more than rest of the world because even the illusion of freedom is not given to them.”
Some bands emerged after the 2011 revolutions but the band members said that that they always wanted to make music and did not have to wait for an event such as a revolution to start to play music. Tanjaret Daghet was formed in 2008. Khaled Omran says what music represents for him:
“For me, music is the simplest way to translate my thoughts. It doesn’t matter what language you speak. Music transcends.”
Their album 180 Degrees consists of nine different songs. The songs are addressing different political and social issues during times of war and revolutions and the suffering of this generation. There was no place for rock music in the Syrian society remembers the band. For example they played live on a jazz festival which was one of the few places where they could perform their music.
Their sound derives from different bands such as Pink Floyd, Nirvana and a little bit of Rage Against the Machine creating in the end their own special and unique music. Their lyrics are embedded in their own political and social context. One of the songs are called Badeel (Alternative).
Since the second I put my head on the pillow/ My thoughts have gone all over the place/Who am I speaking to?/In my hand is a pen and paper/It is not important what I write on it/but what is waiting: to find an alternative/but speaking from the heart is impossible.
It is hard for them not to play in their own country but they The drumer Dani Shukri says that:
“Being away from Syria causes us deep pain and anxiety. Knowing that our loved ones are in constant danger, being away from our homes and our roots is disturbing. It’s hard to talk about hope and forward motion when your home is being torn to pieces. But this particular struggle and existential schism has helped us understand better who we are, what we want and pushes us daily to find a way to make it come true.”
The band is the one place where they can express their own desires, hopes and issues about anything they want. Music is one of those things which helps them to struggle with these problems. They will not be silent and are still playing and living with their instruments.