Dina El Wedidi has taken a courageous step as an artist.Known as a popular singer/songwriter in Egypt, one of the young voices after the uprising in 2011, she has always built her music within the band-based framework of pop/rock.

Now she is departing radically from this, and has made a recording, generally with only one “band member”, and that is a train. She has collected the sound of railways, train stations, train whistles and rails in Egypt, processing these sounds electronically, creating a dream-like and beautiful sound landscape around her own voice, at times like a symphony, taking us on a journey that passes seven stations. The title “Slumber” suggests that she envisions this listening experience as a dream. Here are her own words about this project:

Slumber is a half-an-hour long musical work. It is also a short dream I have between two worlds. Occurring between the conscious – the train – and the unconscious – the dream, Slumber includes topics about breaking free from time as a concept; about limitations, imagination, love, hallucinations, and mental prisons. That is why this dream is timeless, musically and thoughtfully unrestricted, and primarily consists of personal and experimental ideas.

The train is the album’s main and chosen musical instrument; I imagine it as a wholesome structure of sound, compensating for the role of the band. It allowed me to discover an utterly different experience about the definition of sound as one which can be transformed into various sounds that are not only electronic, but musically rich on their own. I drew sounds from the train station, the voices of people, and all that can be used within the train. The idea came after my friend Wael Abd Elfattah asked me to collect and record sounds within Egypt’s train stations for his online-based archive.

The beginning was from this one-day journey: I thought of developing these recorded sounds, as well as the idea in mind, and produce Slumber. Working on the album took me two years and a half. It is my first experimental experience not only in singing and composition, but also in music production. The train takes me to seven stations; seven compositions are produced within and without the trains and their stations.

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