‘Sounds of Babylon’ Returning in September

Plans are well underway for the Second Annual Sounds of Babylon concert, to be held Friday, September 18 at Detroit’s Max M. Fisher Music Center. 

Members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will once again perform at the event, which this year will focus exclusively on Chaldean and Iraqi music, said Shoki Konja of the Chaldean Voice, who is coordinating the event along with a committee co-chaired by Eman Jajonie-Daman, Leila Kello and Peter Karadjoff. 

Last year’s inaugural concert was well-received but some questioned why non-Chaldean music was included.

“This year it is all Chaldean and we don’t want a quiet start — we want to get our people going,” Konja said. “Last year was very nice but we learn and move on and do a better job.”

Chaldean musicians will perform with DSO members to present a variety of music.

Traditional church hymns will include the Lord’s Prayer in Soureth and the historic Amerle Etah, whose lyrics address the building of a church. 

Several traditional songs from Iraq will be performed with new lyrics written by Konja, who said he’s been writing poetry for some 30 years.

One addresses the plight of Christians in today’s Iraq while others are love songs. 

Chaldean vocalists will include Assofi Bayar, Silvana Koja, Edward Issa and Khairy Boudagh, who is also composing a new song, with lyrics by Konja, which will debut that night. Attendees can purchase a pre-recorded CD of the program at the event, 

Konja said. “When they leave they can take it with them, all professionally recorded,” he said.

The concert is presented by the Chaldean Community Foundation, the Chaldean Chamber’s charitable arm, and proceeds benefit its programs and the Chaldean Voice. 

For ticket and/or sponsor information, call Lisa Kalou at (248) 996-8340 or Lisa.Kalou@ChaldeanFoundation.org

By Joyce Wiswell

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