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Ode to Joy: Syrian refugee's new single to support the Red Cross

5 May 2017

A Syrian refugee is spreading a message of hope with his life-affirming debut album My Journey.

Released by Decca Records on 5 May, the album brings together traditional music from Rami’s Arabian roots and classical influences from the West.

The album’s lead single Ode to Joy – Anthem for Europe is being released digitally in support of the British Red Cross.

As part of Red Cross Week (7-13 May), it will help raise awareness of people in crisis, wherever they are.

Alongside Beethoven’s beloved work, the album features ‘Nimrod’ from Elgar’s Enigma Variations, a classical version of One Republic’s ‘Counting Stars’ and a poignant rendition of ‘Silent Night’.

The journey from Syria

In 2015, 21-year-old Rami was studying in a music school in Homs, Syria, but as the conflict developed, he had no choice but to flee to safety.

He travelled from Syria, through Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary, Austria and Germany, on foot and by boat, often running and swimming for his life.

Through this exhausting journey, Rami managed to keep his violin safe by wrapping it in cling film and carrying it on his back.

Although Rami sadly lost his violin when he was thrown off a train by policy in Hungary, he finally made it to Sasbachwalden in Germany.

He was given refuge there and – after telling his story to a local woman – he was handed a violin.

Rami was then transferred to a sports hall in Lahr, filled with bunk beds and more than 200 families, and he practised in the room with washing machines.

He found a local church to pray and practise in – and a photo of him playing violin there appeared in a local newspaper.

After seeing this, a German couple offered him a room in their house and gave him the chance to practise his violin in quiet and they also taught him German. This marked the start of a new chapter for Rami, which led to him making his very first album.

Vital funds to help refugees

Alex Fraser, director of refugee support at the British Red Cross, said: “A huge thank you to Rami and Decca for this collaboration which will help raise funds for the British Red Cross. Rami’s story is incredibly moving and shows the dangerous journey refugees undertake to find a place of safety.

The Red Cross works in countries spanning migratory trails across the globe. The funds raised from this single will go towards supporting our humanitarian work, supporting refugees arriving in the UK as they start to rebuild their lives and be reunited with their families

Recorded near Rami’s new home in Germany by award winning producers James Morgan and Juliette Pochin, the album brings together traditional music from Rami’s Arabian roots, and classical influences from the West.

Alongside Beethoven's beloved work, the album features ‘Nimrod’ from Elgar’s Enigma Variations, a classical version of One Republic’s ‘Counting Stars’ and a poignant rendition of ‘Silent Night’.

 The Red Cross will receive 60 pence from every copy of Ode to Joy that is downloaded and music publishers Decca Records have also made a donation to support Red Cross Week.

My Journey - Tracklisting

1. Beethoven: Ode To Joy

2. Dvorak: New World Symphony - Largo

3. One Republic: Counting Stars

4. Elgar: Enigma Variations - Nimrod

5. Danny Boy

6. Panis Angelicus

7. Cavalleria Rusticana - Intermezzo

8. Je Nai Nan

9. Ashokan Farewell

10. Elegy For A Lost Nation

11. Time To Say Goodbye

12. Silent Night

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