Babylon ORCHESTRA, founded in 2016, is a Berlin-based urban fusion ensemble that combines European and Middle Eastern music with the sound of a big band and contemporary orchestra. Our aim is to promote intercultural artistic cooperation and thus to give different musical traditions and cultures a place in a new shared and unique sound world of the present. We bring people with their stories, songs, instruments, rhythms in the hope of providing creative impulses for new musical works.
By combining and juxtaposing classical and traditional instruments, such as oud and guitar, ney and flute, kamanche and violin, or other exciting combinations, we also aim to foster a deeper understanding of non-European cultures.
The orchestra also sees itself as a platform for exceptional musicians who do not want to squeeze their art into classical or popular musical forms and instead want to find an expression for the specificity of their countries of origin.
In 2021, the ensemble performed with the Rundfunksinfonieorchester Berlin, the Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra, at the Office of the German Federal President, the Konzerthaus Berlin and the ODEON Göppingen, among others. In 2022, the ensemble performs in Greece and at several German festivals, releases an EP and makes its debut in Switzerland.
“This is where the happy pigeonholing fails.”
concerti, 15th of November 2021
“A fascinating fusion concert that breaks all musical expectations as well as the fourth wall.”
Tagesspiegel Berlin, 18th of June 2019
“Babylon Orchestra is the wonder of world music.”
Berliner Kurier, 22th of November 2018
SELECTION OF PROJECTS 2023/24
Availability upon request
Echoes of the Mediterannean
“Echoes of Mediterranean” is a project by Babylon ORCHESTRA which presents love songs, ballads, personal stories and newly written vocal pieces based on texts by authors who lived in the countries around the Mediterranean or have a relationship to it. Hence, the listener encounters a performance taking him through the history of the Mediterranean cultures. Two to three singers from Greece, Syria and Turkey and 7 to 16 musicians from various countries of the Middle East and Europe are performing together as a mixed ensemble with traditional and modern instruments. By using combinations of composed and improvised elements, acoustic and electric as well as electronic instruments, the ensemble creates a lively and dramatic, almost scenic performance showcasing the richness of this cultural heritage. Sephardic, Arabic, Turkish and Greek folk songs with new arrangements (like f.e. Smirneiko Minore from 1909 from Smyrna or Morena me liaman from Sephardic Jewish tradition in Spain) make the core of this concert program.
Availability upon request
with Hani Mojtahedy (Kurdistan), singer
Mischa Tangian: Pieces on themes by L. v. Beethoven, u.a.
Availability on request
COOPERATION WITH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009, Bourrée I and II
Heitor Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9 for string orchestra, W 449
Ludwig van Beethoven: Leonoren Ouverture No. 3, Op. 72b
Babylon/Hani Mojtahedy: Improvisation
Antonín Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, B. 178, 2d movement “Largo” Mischa Tangian: The forgotten
Layale Chaker (Arr. L. Chaker/M. Tangian): Frah el Donniye
Hani Mojtahedy and Mischa Tangian (Arr. M. Tangian): Nour
Osama Abdulrasol: Sumerian harp
Isaac Albeniz (Arr. M. Tangian): Suite Española No. 5 “Asturias”
César Guerra-Peixe (Arr. M. Tangian): Mourão
Hermeto Pascoal (Arr. M. Tangian): O Ovo
Johann Sebastian Bach (Arr. M. Tangian): Flute Sonata in E-Flat major, BWV 1031: II, Siciliano
Charbel Rohana (Arr. M. Tangian): Sama’i Bayati