In October 2012, ICONEA Director Richard Dumbrill visited Lebanon, initially to attend a conference in Beirut on Rituals in the Ancient Levant. The conference was cancelled following a bombing in the metropolis. Dumbrill seeked help from CERMAA/FOREDOFICO to produce a documentary film on the subject he had intended to give at the National Museum. The documentary, funded by the Friends of the National Museum and CERMAA/FOREDOFICO is about the research work Dumbrill has undertaken for the past 25 years on the translation of the oldest known musical text, written in the Hurrian language, dating from about 1400 years BC, and found at Ugarit in North East Syria in the 1950s. The documentary was shot by Paul Mattar, Founding member of FOREDOFICO, in a renowned archaeological site, and at the headquarters of CERMAA, in the suburbs of Beirut.
Rosy Azar Beyhom and Amine Beyhom, CERMAA founding members contributed to the Orientalisation of Dumbrill’s original rendition of the Hurrian material. The song was recorded at the CALA recording studios, a subdivision of FOREDOFICO specialised in archival recordings. Saad SAAB, President of FOREDOFICO made improvisastions on the Ꜥūd on the theme of the original music. The singing of the melody, and the acting on site was entrusted to a young and promising Lebanese singer, Lara Jokhadar Al-Aro. There, Lara played the role of a young woman afflicted with the curse of being childless, and sang her sorrow to the moon goddess NIKKAL so that she may bear child.
The original score for the Hurrian H.6. song has been published in Richard Dumbrill’s article for NEMO N°1 :
- Dumbrill, Richard : “Modus Vivendi,” Near Eastern Musicology Online 1 1 |2012-11| p. 89–116.