photo: Christiaan Triebert/Wikimedia

Daniel Kordík's [Sy][ria]

An aural assemblage of field recordings from various locations across Syria, made in April and May 2011, when the army started to fight against the demonstrations in the course of arab spring. The composition is a great example of suspense and orchestration of ready-made sounds.

 Daniel Kordík - [Sy][ria]

Field recordings have been used and abused in music and sonic art forever, but it’s the method of processing and juxtaposition, which causes the effect. Syria is by default a rewarding sonic source for any zealous field recorder, buzzing with sounds and boasting with an enviable musical history. Syrian dabke, has reached global underground stardom thanks to Omar Souleyman. Daniel Kordík, one half of the Slovak hardware electronics noodle duo Jamka, has delivered an aural assemblage of his recordings made in 2011.

[Sy][ria] consists of 5 compositions based mainly on sound from field recordings made between April and May 2011 on various locations across Syria. These include Damascus, Maaloula, «Road 90» to Palmyra, Deir ez-Zur, Aleppo and Hama and their surrounding areas. Due to security reasons when the government forces were trying to suppress the start of the uprising, I used only my Sony portable minidisc recorder with its internal microphone.

The album is a haunting memento to what eventually happened in Syria. A country ravaged by unrest and political upheaval. This sense of tension and disembodied anticipation and sounds, is translated onto Kordík’s record, some parts of the first track sounding as if they could be Pharmakon’s intro.

Based on the ongoing events in Syria that would eventually break the country down into pieces, I cut my initial field recordings into small fragments and re-arranged them into new compositions. At the end I decided to add two more tracks made on Vostok.

Francisco López, the doyen of field recording, championed «transcendental listening», and this record is, in-itself, a great example of suspense and orchestration of ready-made sounds, with or without knowing the context and origin of the sounds. Money collected from the downloads will be used to help people who had to flee Syria due to the ongoing civil war. There are currently over 1 million children who are refugees of Syria with no schools to go to. I hope that this recording can generate some money for these children, so they do not become «a lost generation».

All received money will be donated to AVAAZ.

Daniel Kordík

This article was first published at

Published on January 31, 2014

Last updated on April 05, 2020


Lucia Udvardyová is a music journalist and organiser. In 2010, together with Peter Gonda, she co-founded Easterndaze, a project that aims to document and interconnect the emerging underground scenes in Central and Eastern Europe.
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