Beirut & Beyond International Music Festival 2018: Celebrating Innovation and Diversity

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Beirut & Beyond International Music Festival (BBIMF2018) returns for another year to host a curated mix of up-and-coming and legendary artists from around the world to perform in different venues in Beirut. The 6th edition of the festival takes place Thursday through Sunday, 6 to 9 December, 2018.

The lineup features a diverse range of local and international acts, spanning genres like classic oriental, jazz, world music and electronics. Opening with Lebanon’s indie-music pioneer Tania Saleh premiering in Lebanon her latest work Intersection, the four-day festival promises an exceptional program that will rouse your curiosity. Acts include Sig and renowned trumpet player Erik Truffaz, Imed Alibi and his ambitious and courageous sounds, and GURLS, a trio of Norway’s most sought-after musicians.

In addition to the artistic program, BBIMF2018 proposes a professional program that meets the needs and questions of the local and regional independent music scene. The program’s main activities include two public discussions, an Artist Entrepreneur workshop, a masterclass and a highlight session entitled Meet the artists, where the festival selects talents from across the Arab region to have short meetings with visiting international delegates to discuss possibilities of local and international collaborations.

Hosted by Station Beirut, Metro El Madina, Zoukak Studio, The Ballroom Blitz, Dar el Nimer For Arts & Culture, Ar_ka, Hammana Artist House, and Onomatopeia the Music Hub; BBIMF is rooting itself locally for this edition too. And It’s great to have partners that share our own vision in supporting the independent music scene, states Amani Semaan, Festival Director. She adds, we invite the audience to see the city through an exceptional musical journey where independent musicians can express their music, their aspirations and achievements.

DAY-BY-DAY PROGRAM

DECEMBER 6 DAR EL NIMER FOR ARTS & CULTURE TALKING MUSIC WITH LEKHFA; TAMER ABU GHAZALEH, MAURICE LOUCA AND MARYAM SALEH | ARTIST TALK STATION BEIRUT [8:30pm] IMED ALIBI  FRIGYA (TN / FR / BF) TANIA SALEH (LB / SE)

DECEMBER 7 THE BALLROOM BLITZ [2:00pm  4:30pm] MEET THE ARTISTS (FOR REGISTERED PROFESSIONALS ONLY) AR_KA

[5:30pm 7:00pm]

DISCUSSION | SACEM METRO AL MADINA [8:30pm] BASEL ZAYED (PS) JAVIER DiEZ ENA (ES) LEKHFA (PS / EG)

DECEMBER 8 AR_KA [3:00pm  5:00pm] ARTIST ENTREPRENEUR SESSION IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE FEATURED ARTISTS COALITION [6:00pm  7:30pm] LOCAL PROMOTERS: CHALLENGES, ACHIEVEMENTS & ASPIRATIONS ZOUKAK STUDIO [8:30pm] TWO OR THE DRAGON (LB) SIG  ERIK TRUFFAZ (FR) BASKOT LIL BALTAGEYYA (EG) DECEMBER 9 HAMMANA ARTIST HOUSE JAZZ TACTICS WITH TAREK YAMANI | MASTERCLASS IN RHYTHM & HARMONY THE BALLROOM BLITZ [8:00pm] GURLS (NO) KINEMATIK (LB) LILIANE CHLELA (LB)

 

ABOUT BBIMF Dedicated to promoting the Arab region’s independent music with emphasis on strong artistic merit, Beirut & Beyond was founded in 2013, in partnership with Oslo World, and quickly succeeded in positioning itself as a key player on the map of regional festivals and showcases.

As a platform for meetings, showcases and exchange, Beirut & Beyond encourages networking and collaboration. It furthermore aims to offer solutions to the urgent needs of the young Arab independent music scene, such as the necessity to provide outlets for its bustling artistic productions.

BBIMF 2018 | Artistic Program: Thursday December 6, 2018 Station Beirut Imed Alibi & Frigya (Tunis / France / Burkina Faso) Imed Alibi’s sounds are ambitious and courageous. Mixing techniques, cultures and openness to create a world of rhythms, beats, melodies, ideas, transformation, technology and passion far from typical entertainment. His new project Frigya, which means Africa in Tunisian dialect, is a culmination of several years of research and creations. A link to the Arab-African world through a rich mix built on Alibi’s percussive foundations, Berber and Arabic rhythms, Khalil Hentati’s distorted digital beats, Michel Marre’s emotive Trumpet and carried by the vocals of Kandy Guira.

Tania Saleh (Lebanon / Sweden) The Lebanese singer/songwriter/visual artist Tania Saleh has been one of the most central artists in the Arabic underground music scene since the nineties. Throughout her career, she has released 5 music albums and cooperated with a who’s who of Lebanese musicians, in addition to artists such as Nile Rodgers, RZA, Norwegian musicians Kjetil Bjerkestrand, Anneli Drecker and Mathias Eick, among others. Taking a new path, Tania Saleh has chosen to revisit great inspiring work of renowned poets of the Arab World, by creating Intersection, an audiovisual experiment, mixing Arabic poetry, classical Arabic melodies, street art, Arabic calligraphy and contemporary electronic sounds. It describes the state of the Arab world, standing still, at an intersection between East and West, religious beliefs, extremism and moderation, good and evil, war and peace.

Friday December 7, 2018
Metro Al Madina
Basel Zayed (Palestine)
Basel Zayed is a virtuoso oud player and an acclaimed vocalist skilled in classical and contemporary Arabic music. He draws on deep experience with the Maqam (Arabic scales) music tradition and Awzan (Arabic rhythms) to explore the beauty and universality of Middle Eastern music, especially when combined with other styles like jazz.
At BBIMF2018, Basel will present Basel Zayed Project, for the first time, in collaboration with the Oxygen Jazz trio. Instrumental compositions, featuring the oud accompanied by the band with a vocal presence trained in Arabic and Middle Eastern style of singing and jazz vocal techniques.
Javier Díez Ena (Spain)
Double bass player, thereminist and electronic musician, Javier’s latest work Theremonial, Dark & Exotic Theremin Music is a record with 10 original compositions using only theremin sounds performed live with visuals.
Created in 1919 by Leon Theremin, the Theremin is the only instrument that is played by moving hands in the air which creates a unique performance where every sound and every note comes from that instrument. No sampler or any other recording is used on stage just loops played by Javier, with several layers that allows the Theremin to adopt different musical roles.

 

Lekhfa (Palestine / Egypt) Lekhfa is the creation of Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca and Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, three artists who have each blazed their different paths through the alternative Arabic music scene with solo albums and acclaimed collaborations. Experimenting and recording together during residencies in Alexandria, Amman, Cairo and Beirut, their collaborative album has been three years in the making. With Lekhfa this charismatic trio has given birth to a deliciously off-kilter album of sonic grit and beauty the perfect setting for the dystopian poems of Mido Zoheir, the band’s fourth member and one of the most talented Egyptian poets of his generation. Channeling the mood of the times, Lekhfa is inspired by the sentiment that suffuses Zoheir’s poems. It’s a potent mix of haunting vocals and a dizzying array of instrumentation – from guitar, slide guitar, synths, beat loops and electronica to ouds, buzuq, mizmar, percussion and harmonium – it’s an album of dark and haunting beauty.

 

Saturday December 8, 2018 Zoukak Studio Two or the Dragon (Lebanon) Two or The Dragon is the electro-acoustic duo of Abed Kobeissy and Ali Hout. Founded in 2014, this project approaches Beirut’s urban soundscapes as an intrinsic component in Arabic music. The duo’s unique sound of processed Buzuq and percussions, combined with their background in classical Arabic music, takes the sonic, visual, and pseudo political day-to-day that is Beirut and reflects it onto a hyper-realistic soundscape and Arabic dance grooves. Having released their first album ;Prelude for The Triumphant Man in 2017, and composed many live scores for theater and contemporary dance productions, the duo will be presenting new compositions in their concert for BBIMF2018.

Sig & Erik Truffaz (France) International headlining act & Elegia Session presents talented Sig along with Erik Truffaz, featuring Latvian drummer Artis Orubs. Heavy drumming over distorted synths, loops and effects with the magical trumpet of Erik Truffaz. He’s one of the leading trumpet players in the world with more than 10 albums for Blue Note Records. SIG aka Siegfried is a French gentleman vagabond, a jazz musician, a film director, a photographer. He fully leads cello and piano, the composer whose creative research is no longer roomy in any music genre – some years ago he proved that jazz combined with hip-hop does not contradict the classical quadruple sonatas compositions.

Baskot Lil Baltageyya (Egypt) Under meters of concrete in central Cairo, a relentless buzz rebels and forms a melody. A tired man tunes his machines to catch a snatch of it, and accidentally creates a playground where these abandoned sounds can flourish. They develop a sense of humor and an acid tongue. A few children with bent ears find their way to an alley with an entrance to the playground. They would later describe what they heard as a delicious hybrid: one part cream, one part bubble gum. So, bend your ears and maybe you’ll hear it too. Mr. Dabbour can already hear some of you wondering with grimaced faces: “Is this rebellion?” No. Just a brand-new dance.

Sunday December 9, 2018 The Ballroom Blitz Gurls (Norway) It’s not often you find such a huge amount of indisputably cutting-edge jazz potential packed into a single trio, but with GURLS, that’s exactly what you get. GURLS is made up of three of Norway’s most sought-after musicians  all of them taking what they themselves confess is a musical holiday. With their playful energy, sassy self-confidence and multitudes of experience in their own bands and projects, together these three consummate musicians have formed a gently funky unit that communicates spontaneously and goes deep. The group’s debut album, Run Boy, Run, is a genre-hopping witches brew, stirred up by musicians whose lyrical playfulness addresses gender roles and norms, humor and confrontational female sexuality. GURLS are righteous, refreshing and bold as brass. [Relying solely on the sensuous, acoustic interplay of sax and double bass (no drums!) for instrumentation, and constantly passing the vocal baton between themselves, GURLS have landed on new and unexplored territory.]

Kinematik (Lebanon) Kinematik’s rock sound is both diligent and intuitional, ranging from raucous improvisational psychedelic rock to steady and mechanical electronic grooves, with frequent post-rock climaxes. Immediate points of comparison include Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Loop, as well as Can (for the tendency towards Motorik beats) and Tortoise (for the intricacies of their layered compositions). Kinematik composes instrumental pieces that feature dynamic contrast, strong melodic lines, a heavy use of distortion and effects, and some reliance on electronics and synthesizers. Two years in the making, Kinematik completed their second album with an unannounced date for its release. The record is an 11-track narrative, a reconciliation with what has been and an invitation to be well alive rather than alive and well. This album compromises a new line-up, contrasting instrumentation, with the usual collaboration of Fadi Tabbal. The Band will preview the material at BBIMF2018 featuring Teddy Tawil.

Liliane Chlela (Lebanon) With her distinct sound treatment and signature improvised performances, Liliane Chlela has been pushing the boundaries of Experimental and Electronic Music’ for over a decade now, as a solo artist and through her various local and international collective projects. Chlela explores the connections between improvisation and sound treatment by approaching numerous musical genres with her signature techniques to construct distinctive sounds. Influenced by her work in film, moving images, interactive installations and performing arts, Chlela has an extensive sound palette, making her one of the most versatile female producers/musicians in the region. She will be presenting new compositions at BBIMF2018.

BBIMF 2018 | Professional Program Thursday December 6, 2018 Dar el Nimer For Arts & Culture [5:30pm – 7:00pm] Talking Music with Lekhfa; Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, Maurice Louca and Maryam Saleh | Artist Talk Moderated by Abed Kobeissy – In partnership with Dar El Nimer for Arts & Culture Three musicians – who have each blazed their different paths through the alternative Arabic music scene with solo albums and acclaimed collaborations, Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, Maurice Louca and Maryam Saleh will be talking music creation, inspiration and process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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