In my artistic work as a singer and composer, I like to set lyrics to music such as those of the world-famous poet Khalil Gibran, to whom I dedicated my CD Khalil & May.
My grandfather Antoine Safar (*1929) wrote the poem Lebanon 1977 during the civil war in Lebanon. It is a poem that contains much horror, sadness and pride. Although the text Lebanon 1977 was written more than forty years ago, it is still very topical in the time of the great refugee movement. For the picture-sound collage The Song of the Valley (directed by Matthias Leupold, Marie Séférian, 50 min, 2020) I have selected and set to music several poems by my grandfather. To translate these texts into music has brought me much closer to the refugees in Lebanon.
Matthias Leupold took black and white photographs of the Lebanon mountains, which is the eponym of the country „White Mountains“. These landscape images are broken up by the interior shots of a once very fashionable villa in Beirut, which has been empty since the civil war. The viewer is left with his or her own fantasy to imagine the splendor of the former „Switzerland of the Middle East“.