Saber Bamatraf is a Yemeni pianist and music composer who has participated in both solo and group musical performances and projects. He is a self-taught pianist who does not read music, but has played music by ear since childhood.
Saber graduated with a Bachelor in Information Technology with Honors from the University of Utara Malaysia (UUM) (2013), in Sana'a, the capital of Yemen. He then worked for the humanitarian sector in security and operations management for seven years, while maintaining his voluntary community engagement in artistic, cultural and musical events.
Saber began focussing more on music composition on 2014, with the release of music pieces for his debut album Turning Point. He also began working to renew Yemeni folk poetic music through Yamaniat, a playlist he recently launched. Saber works to reconceptualise the Yemeni work spread throughout Arabia by focussing solely on instrumentals. This way, he attempts to represent the Yemeni musical legacy and heritage in a style that can be enjoyed worldwide.
Saber’s latest album release, Embrace from Edinburgh, is available on all digital platforms. It contains seven New Age tracks that Saber has composed since arriving in Edinburgh. In this album, he expresses the inspiration he has drawn from living in a peaceful environment, and the senses of courage and hope he has felt while immersed in the natural and historic Edinburgh landscape, after six traumatic years of uncertainty in a war-torn country.
Saber has been awarded an IIE-Artist Protection Fund (APF) Fellowship 2020-21 and in residence at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) - University of Edinburgh.
- IIE-Artist Protection Fund Fellowship Award (APF) in residence at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), University of Edinburgh. Nov. 2020 - Nov. 2021.
Events & Participations:
- Mind the Gap conference: Designing Residencies for Everyone. Speaker and Performer. By ACME & Res Artis, at Here East & Bloomsbury Theatre within University College London UCL, London, UK (06-09 September 2023)
- Festival of Migration. By Art27scotland. At Southside Community Centre, Edinburgh, UK (16, 17 & 18 June 2023)
- The Southside Symphony, as part of the Festival of Migration. Event by Art27scotland. At Southside Community Centre, Edinburgh, UK (17 June 2023)
- Palestinian Gala Day. Event by Art27scotland. At the Southside Community Centre, Edinburgh, UK (14 May 2023)
- Yemeni Song Day, as part of Hossien Moheb's concert. Event by Dan Events. At The Lowry, Manchester, UK (10 May 2023)
- Distil Residency. By Hands Up for Trad. At Wiston Lodge, Biggar, UK (6-9 April 2023)
- Mutual Affinities pilot. Conference. Hosted by Alchemy Film & Arts, Hawick, Scottish Borders, UK (09-11 March 2023).
- Blood Red Lines. Play. Event by Art27scotland. At the London Irish Centre, London, UK (16, 17 & 18 February 2023)
- Mutual Affinities pilot. Conference. Hosted by Art27scotland, Edinburgh, UK (04 November 2022).
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe: From the Heart of the Incident. Short Play. Event by Art27scotland, ZOO Venues, Edinburgh, UK (08 & 09 August 2022).
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Saber Came to Tea. Short play. Event by Art27scotland, ZOO Venues, Edinburgh, UK (06 & 07 August 2022).
- Cross Borders grant by the Scottish Refugee Council (July 2022)
- Mutual Affinities pilot programme. Conference. Hosted by Deveron Projects, Huntly, UK (16-18 June 2022)
- Story on BBC Scotland #Loop series shortlisted for the Refugee Festival Scotland Media Awards by Scottish Refugee Council. Titled: Yemen to Edinburgh - Our Journey to Creative Freedom (15 June 2022).
- The Great May Day Cabaret. Event by Art27scotland & Fair Pley, at Southside Community Centre, Edinburgh, UK (1 May 2022).
- Drawing Connections: Youth Peacebuilding, Scotland, and the World. Event by The Scottish Council on Global Affairs, at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK (April 2022).
- Art as a Tool for Peace: Exhibition Launch and Reception by PeaceRep and the Global Justice Academy, Old College, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom (24 November 2021)
- Saber Came to Tea: An evening of music performance, short play, visual art and conversation, in collaboration with Art27Scotland, South Side Community Centre, Edinburgh, United Kingdom (08 & 09 October 2021)
- Yemen: Pathways to Peace - An evening of Yemen film, music, art and discussion, Peace & Justice Scotland, Online (21 September 2021)
- Music performance & Embrace from Edinburgh album release at The White Canvas Exhibition, IASH, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom (26 - 30 July 2021)
- Participation in Event 416 - Art Exhibition, Basement Cultural Foundation, Online (June 2020)
- Participation & solo musical performance at Takween First Forum, Takween Platform, Mukalla, Yemen (24 July 2019)
- Saber's art story screened in a short documentary film "Voice of the Rainbow", Karama Film Festival, Filmed in Sana'a, Yemen (July – August 2018), Screened:
- NY, USA (01 August 2019).
- Aden & Taiz, Yemen (1 – 9 April 2019).
- Seoul, South Korea (27 January 2019).
- Istanbul, Turkey (29 December 2018).
- Amman, Jordan (09 & 10 December 2018).
- Participation & duet musical performance at the International Women’s Day, Basement Cultural Foundation, Sana'a, Yemen (March 2018)
- Duet musical performance at the music festival, Yemen Music & Arts House (17 January 2018)
- Group musical performance, Palm Complex, Sana'a, Yemen (4 January 2018)
- Group musical performance, Dar AlSalam Forum, Sana'a, Yemen (1 January 2018)
- Musical Performance, Qanbus band, Aroma Cafe, Sana'a, Yemen (November 2016)
- Musical performance, Qanbus band, From under the Ashes Art Exhibition, Mandarin Village, Sana'a, Yemen (5 September 2016)
- Musical performance, Qanbus band, V.Talks initiative, Sana'a, Yemen (August 2016)
- Pianist at Qanbus Band (January 2016 - January 2017)
- Shared TED talk & Art Performance with Shatha, The Synesthesia, TEDxLIUSanaa, Sana’a, Yemen (May 2016)
- Solo musical performance, The Synesthesia of the Color & Tune, Basement Cultural Foundation, Sana’a, Yemen (March 2016)
- Contribution in musical composition for Shrapnel Campaign, Shathaya Musical Team, Basement Cultural Foundation, Sana'a, Yemen (March 2016)
- Music composition "This is Basement" for the official video of Basement Cultural Foundation, Sana'a, Yemen (January 2016)
- Pianist at Shrapnel Campaign, anti-war project, Basement Cultural Foundation, Sana'a, Yemen (December 2015 – January 2016)
- Solo & Group musical performances at the 7th anniversary of the Basement, Basement Cultural Foundation, Sana'a, Yemen (December 2015)
- Solo musical performance at TED Talks, Outside the Box + Humanity, TEDxLIUSanaa, Sana'a, Yemen (January 2015)