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Posts Tagged ‘Mazen Kerbaj’

Sharif Sehnaoui, Mazen Kerbaj & Hadi Saleh (from Acousmatik System), co-curators of the Irtijal festival’s 12th edition (April 4-12), were the guests of Ruptures for a presentation of the Festival’s program.

The show was book-ended by two live performances from the Kerbaj/Sehnaoui duo.

Listen to the full program: Kerbaj Saleh Sehnaoui Irtijal 12
[Live sound by Fadi Tabbal]

Playlist: Jim Denley / Eric Chenaux / Igorrr / Niveau Zero / Osman Arabi / Jad Atoui / Liliane Chlela






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[Photos by Tanya Traboulsi]

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I asked some of my favorite musicians from Beirut and beyond, to tell me what their favorite records of 2011 were…

In the case of improv musician Mazen Kerbaj (whose many projects include A-Trio, Johnny Kafta’s Anti-Vegetarian Orchestra, and AnArchy TV), here’s a list of the records he listened to the most in 2011:

– Evan Parker: Monoceros
– Sun City Girls: Gum Arabic
– Peter Brötzmann: Machine Gun
– Vinko Globokar: Discours II / Sequenza V / Solo Für Melodie-Instrument Mit Rückkopplung / Consecuenza
– Mike Cooper: Radio Paradise
– Sweet Smoke: Just A Poke
– La Monte Young: The Well Tuned Piano (boxset)
– Captain Beefheart: The Mirror Man Sessions
– Bill Dixon: Odyssey / Solo Works (boxset)
– Brigitte Fontaine: Comme à la Radio

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One would not expect a performance consisting of live drawing and guitar soloing to be so physical. Sharif Sehnaoui is bent over his acoustic guitar, placed horizontally on his knees, his body contorting at times, erect at others, eyes closed in extreme concentration, while he strikes, pounds and hammers the instrument with mallets and sticks. Mazen Kerbaj, on the other hand (or side, in this instance), is surrounded by a panoply of paint tubes, bottles of suspicious-looking liquids, saucers, brushes, window wipers, and other less identifiable apparatus. One wonders how he is able to pass these objects through airport customs, given the state of high vigilance enforced in these charmless places nowadays. At the end of the performance, he will inevitably be covered head to toe with blotches of paint, ink and solvent.

Wormholes is an ongoing audio-visual project by Mazen Kerbaj and Sharif Sehnaoui, two Lebanese free improvising musicians who have been working and playing together since the late 1990’s. In 2008, Kerbaj devised an ingenious set-up which allows him to draw in a live setting, using a luminous glass panel coated with acetate, an overhead projector, and a reversed camera. While he draws miscellaneous shapes and forms, sometimes precise, oftentimes blurred, and augments them with plastic add-ons and random effects (such as blowing on the panel with a pipe), Sehnaoui operates his guitar percussively, with lines that are heavy and forceful in places, and sparse and muted in others. Although the two men start the piece in unison, not much correspondence occurs at later stages of the performance, between the music and the drawing. Points of interference are accidental, and much is left to the audience’s imagination.

Prior to taking the stage at Sharjah Biennial’s March Meeting, on March 14, 2011, Sehnaoui humorously recalled an instance of ‘Wormholes’ at a performance festival in Belgium. At the end of the set, Spanish body artist Esther Ferrer walked up to the guitarist and congratulated him, remarking that the divergence between his playing and Kerbaj’s drawing was in fact one the most successful elements of the piece. The March Meeting’s performance was a success as well, with the two musicians in fine form, finding new points of both convergence and divergence, and leading their audience on a haunting, melancholic voyage.

[Photos by Ziad Nawfal]

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INFO

The Ruptured Sessions, volume 2 / CD release + live performances

At Beirut Art Center, Wednesday 4 August 2010 at 8 pm
Entrance + CD: 20 000 LL

A CD compilation gathering some of the most notorious protagonists of Beirut’s experimental music scene, captured live in the studios of Radio Lebanon

For the release of Ziad Nawfal’s “Ruptured Sessions volume 2”, Lebanese electro-acoustic musician Tarek Atoui, an all-too-rare presence on Lebanon’s music scene, will hold two performances, different in outlook and scope:

Set 1 (Auditorium):
Tarek Atoui – live processing
Tony Elieh – electric bass
Charbel Haber – electric guitar

Set 2 (Bar area):
Tarek Atoui – electronics
Uriel Barthélémi – drums

<< About the sessions >>

“The Ruptured Sessions” is a series of live recordings that take place in the studios of Radio Lebanon 96.2FM, during Ziad Nawfal’s weekly “Ruptures” program. These recordings focus on musicians from Lebanon’s alternative music scenes (alternative folk & rock, electronica, improvisation, etc.), as well as visiting foreign musicians.

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LISTEN

Audio 1: Sharif Sehnaoui: To Badly

Audio 2: Stephane Rives: Islets Of Memories – Anything But Sax

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READ

x To read Dan Warburton’s review for The Wire, click here

x To read the Daily Star – Lebanon review of the album launch (August 2010), click on the following link: RS2, Daily Star 06-08-2010

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[Design by Youmna Habbouche]

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Improv musicians Mazen Kerbaj (Lebanon) and Franz Hautzinger (Austria) held an impromptu live session in the studios of Radio Lebanon, on the occasion of the IRTIJAL Festival’s 10th anniversary.

Track listing: Franz Hautzinger’s Oriental Space / Scrambled Eggs & Friends / The Ex / Court Circuit / Tarek Atoui

Audio links: Ruptures Irtijal 10th Edition

Find out more: http://www.kerbaj.com/ + http://www.franzhautzinger.com/

[Photos by Tanya Traboulsi]

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Le trio de musique improvisee BAO — Sharif Sehnaoui et Mazen Kerbaj (fondateurs du label Al Maslakh et du Festival de Musique Improvisée Irtijal) et Charbel Haber (leader du groupe de punk rock Scrambled Eggs) en interview et en concert dans les studios de Radio Liban 96.2FM.

Liens audio: BAO 1 + BAO 2

Le disque de la soirée:

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