Nawa Recordings is proud to announce the worldwide release of the original soundtrack to Leyla Bouzid ’s award winning debut feature-length film As I Open My Eyes / A peine j’ouvre les yeux composed by Khyam Allami. As I Open My Eyes / A peine j’ouvre les yeux by Leyla Bouzid (a winner of 16 international film awards so far), tells the story of 18-year-old Farah (played by Baya Medhaffar) who sings in an alternative-rock band called Joujma, and her coming of age in pre-revolutionary Tunisia against the will of her mother Hayet (played by Tunisian songstress Ghalia Benali).
The 14-track soundtrack of the film features original music composed, arranged and produced by Khyam Allami for the fictional band created for the film, Joujma, alongside Oud-based incidental music and Maurice Louca’s Benhayyi Al-Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot), the title track from his latest album (also released on Nawa Recordings in 2015). Working closely from the early stages of casting and pre-production through to the final sound mixing of the film, Allami and Leyla Bouzid aimed to develop a new and youthful sound for the band, informed by Tunisian folk music such as the vocal driven songs from the city of El Kef, and inspired by artists such as Patti Smith, PJ Harvey and the female leads in alternative rock bands such as Sonic Youth and Stereolab.
The five-piece band of non-professional actors-musicians features Baya Medhaffar as Farah (vocals), Montasser Ayari as Borhene (oud), Deena Abdelwahed as Ines (keys & electronics), and the brothers Marwen Soltana as Sami (bass) and Youssef Soltana as Ska (drums). During pre-production Allami spent much time with Medhaffar, who makes her acting and singing debut, to help her find her voice, all the while seeking inspiration to compose the songs based on her abilities and the nuances of her adolescent character. Teaching the band the songs by rote, Allami tried to keep a balance between their musicality and a natural yet amateur edge to their performance. The lyrics for the band’s songs were written by Tunisian writer Ghassan Amami in colloquial Tunisian Arabic, based on the film’s narrative and dramatic context.
Allami used the lyrics as a catalyst for his composition, to heighten their latent symbolism alongside their social, cultural and political referencing, whilst serving the dynamic trajectory of the film’s plot.The songs in the film are performed live by the band, all of whom make their acting debuts. They were then recorded in a music studio in Tunisia to form the first part of this soundtrack album.
Features artwork by Lebanese designer Jana Traboulsi and tri-lingual booklets with lyrics in Arabic, English and French.
1. Mel Fadda (From Boredom/De l’ennui) - Studio Version
2. Bladi (My Country/Mon pays) - Studio Version
3. ‘Ala Hallet ‘Aini (As I Open My Eyes/A peine j’ouvre les yeux) - Studio Version
4. Touir Ellil (Bird Of The Night/Oiseau de nuit) - Studio Version
5. Benhayyi Al-Baghbaghan (Salute The Parrot)
6. ‘Ala Hallet ‘Aini (As I Open My Eyes/A peine j’ouvre les yeux) – Bar Scene
7. After The Accident/Après l’accident
8. Mel Fadda (From Boredom/De l’ennui) – Live Version
9. Bladi (My Country/Mon pays) – Live Version
10. Touir Ellil (Bird Of The Night/Oiseau de nuit) – Rehearsal Version
12. ‘Ala Hallet ‘Aini (As I Open My Eyes/A peine j’ouvre les yeux) – Live Version
13. Asléma Ya Hméma (The Swallow/L’hirondelle) – Beach Club Scene
14. Tawazon Ii: or Lack of