Community Affiliate

Jad Orphée Chami (he/him) is an artist-researcher specializing in oral history performance, as well as a composer for film, theatre, and dance. He is based between Montréal and Paris, with roots in Beirut. At the age of 21, he was nominated for the Iris Prize for Best Original Score for the film Antigone, which was Canada’s selection for the 92nd Academy Awards. In 2020, he was awarded the MEC scholarship to pursue his master’s degree at the Graduate School of Research ArTeC in Paris, from which he graduated in 2022. Recently, he received a grant from the Québec Art Council to support the production of his upcoming album.

After gaining initial experience in composing music for testimony-based theatre with the Lebanese production Umbilical Cord in 2015, Orphée further delved into the realm of oral history in 2018 during his BFA program at Concordia University. This exposure came about through his involvement in the research-creation project titled Community by its very presence, which explored oral history performance in the context of restorative justice. The project was directed by Dr. Luis Carlos Sotelo Castro, who held Canada’s research chair in Oral History Performance and received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Orphée’s research-creation master’s thesis, Rhapsody for the disappeared: The rhapsody as a space of liaison between music and oral history in the context of the disappeared of Lebanon, supervised by the French playwright David Lescot, was awarded the highest honors. Following his thesis defense, he presented his work at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris in the form of an autoethnographic performance incorporating composed and improvised music, new media, movement and verbatim theatre. As an affiliate of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling in Montréal, he has shared his research-creation through talks, performances, and workshops at events such as the Oral History Association Annual Conference.
Currently, Orphée’s primary focus revolves around exploring lamentation as a rhapsodic performance of grief within the context of Euripides’ Greek tragedy The Trojan Women, drawing parallels to the post-civil war situation in Lebanon. With this pursuit in mind, he aspires to continue weaving testimonies, notably within an eventual doctoral degree.