Bande à part (Feb. 2017)

"(...) Le réalisateur et la musicienne et compositrice Cynthia Zaven ont finement construit une trame sonore qui nourrit la dramaturgie, en accompagnant off le voyage géographique et intérieur de Rabih, et dans l’image, en le faisant chanter la musique traditionnelle arabe, où excelle hors écran son interprète né aveugle Barakat Jabbour. Avec comme climax, un final bouleversant d’émotion contenue et promesse d’apaisement. La musique comme vecteur sensoriel, lien existentiel et baume humain.

Olivier Pelisson on the sound and music in Tramontane

To read the critique (in French) please click here

Madame Fait Son Cinéma (Feb. 2017)

"Vatche Boulghourjian et Cynthia Zaven, respectivement réalisateur et compositrice du film libanais Tramontane, sont à Bruxelles à l’occasion de la Première en Belgique. Sélectionné en Compétition à la 56ème Semaine Internationale de la Critique du Festival de Cannes, Tramontane est un premier film particulièrement réussi qui raconte la quête d’identité d’un jeune aveugle à travers le Liban d’aujourd’hui. Une réalisation au cordeau pour ce film que l’on espère le premier d’une longue série."

To read the full interview (in French) on the making of Tramontane, please click here

Frieze (Dec. 2016)

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"(...) In Baalbek, the curator Karina Helou brought ‘The Silent Echo’, featuring nine contemporary artworks, to the humble archaeological site museum that sits inside the city’s vast Roman ruins, and to the 2000-year-old Temple of Bacchus, where Cynthia Zaven’s sound installation Perpetuum Mobile (2014) made time palpable, beautiful, and harrowing."

Extract from Kaelen Wilson-Goldie's 2016 Highlights in the online edition of Frieze

To view the whole feature article please click here

Selections (Oct. 2016)


Shouldering the Weight of History at Baalbek

"Embraced by the encircling walls of the Bacchus Temple, Cynthia Zaven’s sound installation Perpetuum Mobile creates a cycling echo effect as it loops on 12 speakers, arranged in a rough circle in the middle of the stone courtyard. One of the highlights of The Silent Echo, the first contemporary art exhibition to be held at the archaeological site of Baalbek, Zaven’s installation immerses listeners in a fluid, musical soundscape, where notes chase each other in circles, creating echoes and flurries, marking the passing of time in a space that has remained untouched for 2000 years (...)"


To view the full article on the Selections website please click here

The National (Sept. 2016)

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"A particular highlight of the show is Zaven’s complex 12-channel sound installation, Perpetuum Mobile, which is located inside the shell of the Temple of Bacchus. A circle of sleek black speakers stand incongruously in the courtyard, surrounded by carved pilasters topped with Corinthian capitals.

The musical soundscape cycles endlessly from order to chaos and back again, blending with the voices and laughter of visiting families – and, every few hours, the melodic sounds of the call to prayer.


To view the original article by India Stoughton on The National website please click here

MOMA (Sept. 2015)

Al-wadi (The Valley). 2014. Directed by Ghassan Salhab
Sunday, September 27, 2015, 7:00 p.m.

Al-wadi (The Valley). 2014. Lebanon/France/Germany/UAE/Qatar. Directed by Ghassan Salhab. 134 min.
After a series of roadside accidents, an amnesiac man is reluctantly taken in by a secretive group living in the Bekaa Valley, on Lebanon’s border with Syria. The group members, who are revealed to be producing drugs in the compound, are suspicious of this man without a past—though they themselves have left a life behind to be there. The rising tension is heightened by the camera, which frames figures against interiors until the house seems to close in on them, and the painterly vistas of the valley beyond their windows appear a world away. Radio news coverage of crises across the region (which punctuates the eerie score by Sharif Sehnaoui and Cynthia Zaven) only confirms what the inhabitants already know: danger is all around. In Lebanese auteur Ghassan Salhab’s poetic meditation on his war-ravaged homeland, the national zeitgeist is reflected in the protagonist’s amnesic blankness. This hauntingly beautiful film is ultimately a ghost story about a nation’s painful history and uncertain future.

To view the page on the Moma website please click here