All posts by eliakoussamusic

Beyond the sound

A text from my book “Upwards in Time”, contemplating the phenomenon of beauty in art. This book was edited by the wonderful English/Academic Editor Milo B. Pertchevitch that I highly recommend for his skills, friendliness, honesty, dedication and love for his work. I am very thankful for his valuable help:

.…Besides the fact that I support freedom of the arts and that the artist ought to be able to express any idea he wishes, whether it has to do with beauty or not, I would like to state my conviction in this regard: One can compose or play the most traditionally or acoustically consonant, externally ordered and poetic sounds with the worst intention, the result, in my opinion, is harsh for the listener. Beautiful poetic words producing a good effect on the human’s mood and well-being are not necessarily made of consonant material, or containing musical consonance the way we know it; one can analyze the sound of the word acoustically or spectrally without finding a material or acoustic secret. When that word is stated with good intention and love, its quality is surely not to be measured by the timbral characteristic of the sound and its material reality, but by the whole phenomenon of what is behind and beyond the sound: from the person who has spoken the word and his intention, to his character, culture, and manner in which the word was stated. The physical aspect of the propagation of sound in space and its characteristics play a less important role here; the effect of the sound on the human is much more related to its intelligent source of propagation than the sound itself. I hope further experiments will prove this so that people will be convinced and take a new turn, in order to concentrate more on our good intentions and interior beauty instead of merely focusing on appearances.

Elia Koussa at universal edition

We are delighted to inform you that the Lebanese composer Elia Koussa is now featured via scodo on the catalogue of the prestigious Universal Edition in Vienna. Universal Edition has been writing music history since its foundation in 1901, and publishes the work of the composers who have decisively shaped the great musical trends of the 20th and 21st centuries, like Bartok, Mahler, Schoenberg, Webern, Boulez, Ligeti, Stockhausen, etc.

His works can be found on the following link:

Elia Koussa’s works at universal edition

We are delighted to inform you that the Lebanese composer Elia Koussa is now featured on the catalogue of the prestigious Universal Edition in Vienna. Universal Edition has been writing music history since its foundation in 1901, and publishes the work of the composers who have decisively shaped the great musical trends of the 20th and 21st centuries, like Bartok, Mahler, Schoenberg, Webern, Boulez, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Arvo Pärt, etc.

Six genera studies in the Anna-Amalia competition weimar

We are pleased to announce that the European union of music competitions for youth (EMCY), hosting the biannual international Anna Amalia competition for young guitarists by the Weimar Guitar Association, have chosen for its 15th edition, “6 𝐺𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑎 𝑆𝑡𝑢𝑑𝑖𝑒𝑠” by the Lebanese composer 𝐸𝑙𝑖𝑎 𝐾𝑜𝑢𝑠𝑠𝑎 as a part of its competition program as the only contemporary piece to be played by the 2nd and 3rd age groups of participants.…/anna-amalia-competition-young…/

On “non-integrated music”

“I wish here to express a mystic idea related to human nature. In the first weeks of the embryo in the mother’s womb, the audio-vocal apparatus forms a unity, voice and ears are one. It is only some weeks later that the hearing is distinguished from the voice. This reality leads me believe that the core of what we say, sing, or even play, has to be one with what is heard; in order to share our voice, it is important to integrate it in our inner ear with its full meaning. The problem of our contemporary world is that words are uttered or spoken superficially without perceiving their actual effects; similarly, and a lot of music is played or performed without reflecting on its consequences. Also, we write what I call “non-integrated music”,  a music we do not listen to inwardly and therefore are ignorant of the extent it influences us. It is a great idea to use microtonality in our compositional systems, it would extend our tuning systems, our harmony, as well as our thoughts and imagination, but only externally. If the audio-vocal function is originaly one, then it is important to acknowledge and be inspired by this reality. It is therefore essential to query: are we integrating this new harmony so that it extends to our being? Are we making it a second nature? Can we sing or play it on a string instrument? If we are unable to hear it, then it is questionable whether it can be sung or played. A project involving heeding, paying attention to our nature seemed a crucial and intriguing one.”  

By ©Elia El-Koussa 2020. All rights reserved
From “Upwards in Time”, to be published soon.

The introduction of my new book: Upwards in Time

This introduction is an extract of my future publication, “Upwards in time”, which will be published in the near future, hopefully. I am sharing it here with my public to give a glimpse about this work which deals with my music, focusing on my compositions and the personal experience and message behind them. The ideas and concepts concerning music in general will also be discussed :

“From absurdity to meaning, from night to light, this is the path I am supposed to pursue. The direction is upwards, ascension in music, and time is the material.

From the early days in Lebanon, my music has been my promise of freedom; in the beginning it was the instinctive escape from the severity of the obscure, to the safe side of the pure emotion and the transcending laughter with no guidance or orientation; a pure but wild emotion that carried within it the seeds of a future evolution from the roots upwards through the tree of life; and an explosion of laughter in the face of unbearable heaviness. In that darkness I started to grope, to listen and to move; in that silence: the fight.

And from Lebanon to Berlin where I received my direction, my miracle and message to start watering the seeds, the happy promise of a tree, a tower and a cross. The tree is a cedar, an immortal pine, a root of life growing, to meet its fruit. The tower is on the mountain of Lebanon, the promise of fragrance and holiness, the peak of desire.  And the cross is the heart of man, the Love, the unity and unification of opposites, the silent saint in prayer, and the poet of mysteries. Three seeds of promise that I never knew of their existence until the stems have grown a bit enough to be recognized, recently.

And from Berlin to Weimar, the city of my confrontations, my fears and projections, my emotional intuition, of the start from nothing, of seeking my building blocks in the ruins. There I started the new work of my integrations, my new building. There I started to reflect, to view and correspond. The soul, the subconscious, sounds, nature, laws, angels, identities, symbolism, numbers, structures and proportions, all existing but were still small in the tree of my perception.

And from Weimar to Leipzig, the continuation, the other side, my city of peace, of the sensing intellectual, the scientific builder of stairs of harmonies and letters, of numbers and degrees, of consonance and consciousness, of utopia sometimes, always upwards. There also was the elegy, of that “poet of the roots and mysteries”, the heart of my creation of that time, and the bloom of my success.

And again from Leipzig to Lebanon, to where I started before, the piano and the tradition, and the dream that I start again; the echo of the past and the end of the first cycle, the unifiying circle, Jungian mandala and passage through the first door, Souzenelle’s door of men, adulthood. There started the three comedies of transformations: the thunder of a rebel confronting unaccomplished wildness and anger, the law of a sage taking on loneliness and guilt, and a field of a caregiver holding rejection and sadness, to give them all through the first door, prepare them to the fire of the heart and liver, the promise of a blissful serenity and Love in a new stage of being.

There I once literally believed in my quantum sound particles of the trumpet that travelled in time to my first song to change its root, and everything, past and present… that’s when I failed. But the song and the attempt were the precursors of the night in my name, “Layl”, the carrier of the archetypes and salvation upwards in symbols and sounds.

“Layl”, the confrontation with the universal night is to rise again, night to light, in the mysticism of the three saints of my old earth, upwards again and again; the kabbalistic tree of knowledge, the dancing and whirling blissful towers, and all the creation in beauty and harmony in the middle of the loving field of the vine light, field of the cross.

Then in the fire of the middle I started to burn, with brides and crossing visions, the feminine humanity in “Hagar” or “‘awd”, the eternal dancer universe, with all her stars, galaxies and suns meeting in her, a mother, a matter, who saved victory, who transformed compulsions into an eternal dance of planets and suns. She bore the lion of majesty, the root of the path upwards to the vine light, when the time suspends its flight, when I meet my other half, in that imaginal, the icon, so we share an eye on the narrow gate, and its guardian the eagle of “Wajed”, the finder in intuition, the son, the “John” of my story, the merger of absurdities into existence and the promise of grace and freedom.

This is in my name, and I will rise from that night again, three times. And the six guardians of the two doors, will someday become wings of night, they will fly with “Layl” to the feet of his creator, in ascension, upwards in resurrection.”

By ©Elia Koussa – Unpublished – Copyrighted material – All rights reserved.

A work by Elia Koussa performed by David Danel at Tehran Contemporary Music Festival

A work by Elia Koussa was performed by Czech artist David Danel at Tehran Contemporary Music Festival, on April 26, 2018. It is entitled “Sermon of an ex-statue”.

TCMF is an international event in the fields of contemporary music. It is an independent cultural and artistic event held annually with lectures and performances including experimental and improvisational presentations. It took places this year at the end of April, with musicians from Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic, Germany and Poland who attended this year. A total of 130 musicians in 27 ensembles have entered the lineup of the event.

About  “Sermon of an ex-statue” or fdrfh

“fdrfh (shadrafah) was a north Arabian god worshiped for protection and prosperity by the Arab and Aramaean tribes living in and around Palmyra in southern Syria before Islam. In the story “Layl”, written by the composer of this piece a year ago, many of the ex-gods of the arabic and middle eastern region are sought, revived and transformed to archetypes, becoming teachers, reminding other statues of their salvation. fdrfh, as a response to the destroyers (of statues and culture), is the protector or shepherd, given the task for care and help of others, reminding of innocence, compassion, support and honesty, away from the modern concept of safety (spread by the modern “consuming hospitals” (medias, fanatic religions…)).

Elia Koussa

Bassam Saba : the new head of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music

Congratulations to the new head of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music, Mr Bassam Saba, wishing him great success in his new mission.

Flashback from his concert at Masrah el Madina, on 30/07/15.
Listen to Uyun Havasi, from Bassam Saba’s concert with April Centrone on Drums and percussion, Abboud Saadi on electric bass and Elia Koussa on the piano, by clicking here.


Piano Concert by Elia Koussa at Pierre Abou Khater USJ – Tue, 6 Feb 2018

You are cordially invited to a Piano Concert given by the composer and pianist Elia Koussa.

In Program: 
The 3 Great B’s : Brahms, Bach, Beethoven.
(check the invitation card for the detailed program).
Date : Tuesday, 6 February 2018.
Time: 8:00 PM 
Place :
Pierre aboukhater theatre, Humanities Campus, Université Saint-Joseph, Damascus Road, Beirut, Lebanon