WASHINGTON D.C. – DECEMBER 2010:
Lost Origin Productions is an international multi-media company with a hefty creed: explore the past to change the future. Directed by musician, photographer and writer Jason Hamacher, Lost Origin Productions explores modern people living in ancient civilizations with hopes of inspiring current-day culture with a new ideas, stories and perspectives. Most recently, Hamacher traveled to Aleppo, Syria, to continue work on his Edessian Preservation Initiative, a project to preserve the world’s oldest Christian music practiced by the parishioners of St. George’s Syriac Orthodox Church. In order to capture the community’s ancient vocal traditions, Hamacher brought along his 3124+ from API.
“An old friend of mine, Matt Squire, is a producer who has a bunch of API gear,” said Hamacher. “When I told him my plan to record the chants, he told me I needed to use API equipment to make the recordings sound fantastic. I figured I only had so many opportunities to get it right, so why not go in with the best?”
The Edessian Preservation Initiative, now in its fifth year, currently finds Hamacher in the process of capturing the first performance recordings of the Syriac Orthodox Church’s “Beth Gazo,” which is Aramaic for “The Treasury of Chants.” These ancient Christian chants have roots dating back to the year 190 C.E. and have been passed down orally ever since. Before Hamacher’s endeavor, no performance recordings of the Edessian “Beth Gazo” had existed.
“It’s a work in progress. I’m recording the entire Syriac Orthodox chant collection, according to the school of Edessa, with the help of API equipment,” he said. “I’ve recorded a fractional portion and I’m nowhere close to the end.” It’s no wonder why – if played back-to-back, the seven hundred chants that make up the “Beth Gazo” will equal 24 hours of audio. But Hamacher said that the quality, durability and ease of use of his API 3124+ discrete four-channel mic/line pre have made the process nothing but smooth. “I’m not a full-time engineer,” he said, “but I know that by using my 3124+ and some half-decent mics I can make the recordings sound amazing.”
As if recording twenty-four hours of audio isn’t enough of an undertaking, Lost Origin Productions is also working on a number of other projects about Syria, including a photography book titled Aleppo, Syria: Witness to an Ancient Legacy, and a permanent photography collection for a new museum in New York. Additionally, Lost Origin Productions is in the process of filming a documentary and writing a book about Edessian Syriac music as well as creating a compact disc of Syriac chant selections to be released through Smithsonian Folkways, the non-profit record label of the Smithsonian Institution.
Gordon Smart, API managing director, said, “We find it interesting here at the company that API gear is being used, not just to create just great music of today – and to record classic tracks of yesteryear – but to actually capture music that has been sung for nearly two thousand years. We’re honored to be part of the process.”
As for Hamacher, he hopes to bring people together through the stories, sounds and culture of Syria. “Unfortunately, Syria is generally thought of as a terrorist nation,” said Hamacher. “Syrian people, of all faiths, are the most welcoming people I’ve ever met and they have so much to offer the world. I’m seriously trying to unify people through these efforts, and because I’m working on such sensitive and historically important projects I need the best. And everyone knows API is the best. I really couldn’t be happier about using my API 3124+.”
For more information on Lost Origin Productions and Jason Hamacher’s work visit www.lostorigins.com.