Milad Khawam started composing his music album "To the West" in late 2015 during his journey from Syria to Germany. Speaking of the mental thoughts and psychological states that struck him during the road between East and West and was a source of inspiration and basis in the birth of the musical idea of the album. He wanted to document these cases as a musical form in a positive & ironic way, as it means to him personally, and could mean to many people who crossed that path at that time and to the present day .. The album includes contemporary music with a folk oriental character on the trumpet machine, it developed after the influence of several European cultures. The music was performed by Syrian, Palestinian and German musicians in Berlin.
1-To the West:In September 2015, I was at the Macedonian-Serbian border trying to avoid 10 hours of waiting line to get permission to cross Serbia and then get across the Serbian-Croatian border. I never cared about how I would get there. My eyes were just looking to the west, silently giving half a smile to the sunset. Luckily, I found a random taxi driver who is looking for a passenger like me, someone desperate enough to spend any amount of money just to get out of there. I didn’t have legal papers to leave Serbia so I could not officially reserve a taxi or train and the driver could go to prison if the police found out about his service to an illegal person. But there is always a way, there is always black money. I made a deal with him to drive me direct to the Serbian-Croatian border, and he removed the TAXI sign on his car so the police check points wouldn’t stop him. I paid him 800 euro in cash for the 6-hour drive from southern Serbia to northern Serbia. It was a difficult escape. My head was full of stressful music, thousands of thoughts looping in my mind, but then suddenly, happiness overtakes me when I think about my trumpet. I started moving my fingers and singing in the taxi with Serbia streaming by out the window. It was at that same moment that the driver announced: “Congrats! We are almost there.”
2-Barari:in Arabic, Barari means wildness or desert or any vast, empty space in mother nature. I have seeing a lot of it during my journey in 2015, its reminds me a lot of all the wild trips I have done only for fun in my homeland, I never expected to repeat that same experience in real way with a different position. this music is my nostalgic moments for Barari, for all the wild trips I took in Syria during my childhood. I wrote “Barari” because I may never be able to return to Syria and see those spaces again.
3- Dance on Bayat: After arriving in Germany, I had only one way to dance. Dance on techno. I felt I needed some Arabic tunes to dance on, so I wrote my own piece.
4- Soleil: When I was a little kid in my private French school in Damascus, I learned how to say sun for the first time, soleil. I only realized just how important the sun is after two winters in Germany. Soleil, I miss you!
5- Illusion:Sometimes I believe I’m living an illusion, with all the things I have seen and all that I have faced in my life. In my childhood, I learned about love, peace and humanity, but all that I have faced was totally different. What if I’m an illusion? What part of my life is real? Thinking about what is real and what is true scares me so much, but I’m sure it’s not an illusion and that what scares me more. I decide it to focus on music. To have my own bubble. To make my own reality. And to be ironic about it also helps—it’s the best solution. enjoy it :)
6- Aquamanile: I can say now that I’m a German citizen, after 4 years of living in Berlin, trying to live my new life with peace. “Aquamanile,” a lovely special piece I was commissioned to compose for the Museum of Islamic art in Berlin 2019.