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Egyptian Center for Culture and Arts

The Egyptian Center for Culture and Art (ECCA), also known as Makan, is a performance, documentation and archive center for traditional Egyptian music (Zar, Egyptian Gypsies, the Egyptian Delta, wind instruments- arghoul, settawiyya, ballads (mawwawil)...)

Founded in 2002 to record and promote traditional music in Egypt, increasingly in danger of being relegated to the status of an exotic and de-contextualised tourist curiosity or to place on the shelves of academic archives far form daily lives of its dwindling practitioners. ECCA document and present traditional music in Egypt as a vibrant and renewable resource, a multilayered point of reference to the cultural richness of Egyptian music and arts. A number of strategies activities support these aims :

- Systematically recording, documenting and archiving current practice so as to make it available to scholars, musicians and to an increasingly broad-based audience.

- Promoting an audio aesthetic that respects the integrity of the instruments and voices, an alternative to the aesthetic that imposes echo, reverb and other effects dominating the popular market.

- Expanding the audience for this tradition, renewing the lively performer-audience-venue relationship and increasing opportunities for financial self sustainability

- Organising encounters among a range of performing artists (musicians, poets, dancers, storytellers), bringing them together in the context of workshops, rehearsals, facilitating their participation in festivals and evnings

- Expanding its already substantial network of contacts in order to further cooperation and the establishment of partnerships with a wide range of cultural organisations and scholarly institutions from all over the world.

Makan offers these artists and technicians the basic and necessary infrastructure, together with a simple ambiance and spirit that can inspire the creation of new forms and traditions as a strategy for self-sustainability.

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View online : www.egyptmusic.org