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Youmna Saba (Beirut 1984) is a musician, composer, and musicologist. She holds a Master’s degree in musicology from Antonine University in Lebanon. Her current research deals with the relationship between electroacoustic music and the Arabic language in its sung form. These explorations manifest themselves in various projects, ranging from musical composition for her solo project, collaborations, and film music to electroacoustic experiments on new devices designed for voice and her instrument, the oud.

She has notably performed at the CTM festival in Berlin (2022), the Éclat festival in Stuttgart, the Akademie Der Kunst in Berlin, and the Internationales Musikinstitut in Darmstadt with the NeueVocalsolisten ensemble (2021). She also appeared at the Bourse du Commerce in Paris as part of Tarek Atoui’s installation (2021), the Phonetics festival with Stephen O’Malley (2021), the Zebrures d’Automne festival in Limoges, and the Gugak Center in Seoul with Kyungso Park and Chang Jaeho, among others. She
has been part of several collaborative projects, including Terra Incognita with Kamilya Jubran and Floy Krouchi (2020-2022).

She is the laureate of the first sound residency at the Musée du Quai Branly with her project “La Réserve des Non-Dits” (2022-2024) and has participated in artist residencies at the Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris 2020-2021), Sharjah Art Foundation (2021), Voce CNCM (2020), GMEM (2020), Césaré CNCM (2020-2021), Hwaeom Spiritual Music Residency (South Korea, 2017), Sound Development City (Spain, Morocco, 2016), and Gyeonggi Creation Center (South Korea, 2013). Her fifth solo album, “Wishah,” was released on the
label Touch in 2023.

Wishah - New Solo Album

Pre-orders now open

Wishah ('Veil' in Arabic) is a composition in five stages, written by Youmna Saba between 2021 and 2022, for voice, oud and electronics. 

Following her previous solo works Njoum (2014) and Arb’een (40) (2017), this album marks a significant turning point in Saba's journey. Created after leaving Beirut and settling in Paris, Wishah reveals a profound shift in her musical expression, informed by rigorous research in the sonic properties of sung Arabic phonemes and their role in shaping synthesised electronic sounds. 

The album employs a digital extension for the oud, a concept developed by Saba in her research project Taïma’. This device enhances the oud's sonic range, seamlessly integrating synthesised electronics. It also amplifies subtle, often overlooked sounds generated during playing, such as resonances and fingerboard friction. 

The composition is organised into five distinct stages, each contributing to a process of gradual revelation. As the tracks unfold, they strip away layers of constructed emotions and perceptions that have been intricately woven over time, to expose a space that no longer exists. Wishah is a farewell to home.

releases October 6, 2023 

Written and performed by Youmna Saba 
Recorded and mixed by Fadi Tabbal at Tunefork Studios, Beirut 
Produced by Youmna Saba and Fadi Tabbal 

Mastered by Stephan Mathieu 
Design and photography: Jon Wozencroft 
Published by Touch Music/Fairwood Music (UK) Ltd. 

The oud digital extension used on this record was developed by Nicolas Canot, and produced by Césaré - Centre National de Création Musicale, as part of the research project Taïma', by Youmna Saba



Youmna Saba

Poem by Assulaka (“Assulaka tarthi ‘ibnuha”, 7th c)
Music and performance by Youmna Saba

Based on “Surface Grinder 7” clip, from the Beirut Heritage Initiative sound library
Special thanks to Fadi Tabbal

© youmnasaba 2022
Read more…
  1. Ritha'

La réserve des Non-Dits | MUSEE DU QUAI BRANLY

Installation sonore au musée du quai branly - Paris

photo par Julien BRACHHAMMER

"La réserve des non-dits", l’installation sonore de la musicienne, compositrice et musicologue @youmnasaba est à découvrir au musée jusqu’au 31 décembre !

"La réserve des non-dits" est le premier projet créé dans le cadre des résidences sonores du musée du #quaibranly : @youmnasaba, lauréate de la résidence sonore 2022, est allée capter le souffle des instruments de musique au cœur de la « tour des instruments », un environnement protégé et optimisé pour assurer leur bonne conservation.


L’installation propose un zoom sur les micro-sons qu’émettent ces instruments dans leur état passif, leurs résonances, leurs voix. C’est une manière de révéler l’inaudible, d’exhumer les traces de sons et autres images résiduelles, de retranscrire leurs histoires non-écrites, les informations que ces instruments captent et enregistrent dans leurs corps, au plus près de leur matière.


Al Sobh

Written and performed by Youmna Saba 
for the RELIEF Centre 2021 conference: 
"Working Through Crisis: Innovations, Possibilities and Limitations of Research in a Volatile Lebanon." 

Recorded in March 2021.


Youmna Saba | Sample of Work A selection of my latest projects and collaborations 1.09 MB

featured track


Based on "La Chute", by Albert Camus 

Written and performed by Youmna Saba 
Concrete sound "WOODEN STAIRS _ going down", from Radio Mansion sound bank 
Recorded and mixed by Fadi Tabbal, at Tunefork 
2018, Beirut, Lebanon 

Written for the project Radio Mansion, a collaboration between The Outpost and Mansion (Beirut)

latest releases



Two tracks of mine were featured in this compilation "Nafas" & "Hubut", along other works by Lebanese musicians in the experimental scene.


Arb'een (40)

released may 2017

Written, arranged and performed by Youmna Saba / Recorded and mixed by Fadi Tabbal at Tunefork Recording Studios, Lebanon
 / Mastered by Lopazz at Mixmastering, Germany / Produced by Youmna Saba and Fadi Tabbal (Tunefork) / Album cover illustration and design by Joseph Kai



released september 2014

Written and performed by Youmna Saba / Arranged by Youmna Saba & Fadi Tabbal / Track 5 by Fadi Tabbal / Recorded and mixed by Fadi Tabbal at Tunefork Recording Studios, Lebanon
 / Mastered by Lopazz at Mixmastering, Germany / Produced by Youmna Saba and Fadi Tabbal (Tunefork) / Album cover illustration and design by Joseph Kai


in the press

interview on BBC NEWS ARABIC

Talking about my work and projects on BBC News Arabic.

Picture by Zakaria Wakrim




MAY 2018

Review: Anthology of Electroacoustic Lebanese Music from the Unexplained Sounds Group.


NTS RADio | featured on the show "are you before"

january 2019

Playlist featuring my track "I Saw You" with Moisés Martìn Flores. 


contributor's charts | corridors (youmna Saba & nour sokhon)

december 2018

My collaboration with Nour Sokhon "Corridors", is featured among the Wire's contributor Maha El Nabawi's list.


You can also read more about her selection HERE (special mention to the members of SODASSI as well)


Previous events

Date Event Location
Transmissions Festival Ravenna, Italy Ravenna, Italy
Sound of Stockholm Festival Stockholm, Sweden Stockholm, Sweden
La Réserve des Non-Dits | Live with Kamilya Jubran and Youmna Saba Musée du Quai Branly, Paris Musée du Quai Branly, Paris
Sound Lab #4: Youmna Saba & Kid Fourteen 3537, Paris 3537, Paris
Youmna Saba + Richard Comte Instants Chavirés, Montreuil Instants Chavirés, Montreuil
Youmna Saba Solo Espace Mendès-France, Poitiers Espace Mendès-France, Poitiers
Ultima Festival Oslo - with NeueVocalsolisten  
 —  — Summer Bummer Festival - with Praed Orchestra Antwerp Antwerp
Voice Affairs with NeueVocalsolisten Time of Music, Viitasaari Time of Music, Viitasaari
"En échos" Déambulation musicale Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris
Terra Incognita 1 at Faraway festival | Kamilya Jubran, Floy Krouchi, Youmna Saba La Comédie, Reims La Comédie, Reims
CTM Festival - 40 years of Touch Berlin Berlin
Kamilya Jubran and Youmna Saba (double bill solos) Cave12 , Geneva Cave12 , Geneva
Jazz à Poitiers Poitiers Poitiers
 —  — School of Sonic Memory Residency Athens Athens
KoncertKirken Copenhaguen Copenhaguen
 —  — Irtijal Festival Berlin Berlin
Francophonies Limoges Limoges
Jazz Festival Freiburg FOYER, E-WERK FOYER, E-WERK
Phonetics Festival Saint Denis Saint Denis