Sunday, October 29, 2006

Back from Amsterdam

After the Paris concert at En Marge, we went on to Amsterdam where Mazen had a residency at Steim. Playing in duo with Mazen is always very easy and efficient, and our purpose was to finally get a chance to record it in a good studio, so hopefully we have enough material for a future release.
We also had the chance to work extensively with Australian harp and guzheng (chinese string instrument) player Clare Cooper who's sound world is surprisingly highly close to ours. An acoustic (a very rare event for Steim) trio set we did was also very intense. For the second time after Sweden we could also listen and perform at greater length with Michel Waiswisz (someone we knew through his 70s recordings with Steve Lacy among others) amazing use of electronics, a true pioneer in the field and probably the first to have found an efficient way to combine electronic music with physical movement.
One of the most important encounter for me was with our compatriot Tarek Atoui, someone I had heard a lot about but had only very briefly listened to. Here I got a chance to discover his very interesting work. He is not clearly an improviser as the rest of us and works a lot with patches and composed electronic music with his laptop (MAX/MSP). A very abstract sound world, very contemporary, an overall experimental approach and a dedication to make new music outside of the mainstream paths of regular Lebanese artists. Even his use of occasional beats are quite special and subject to breaks and asymetrics.
It is rare for us to find Lebanese artists who have developped such original work without any prior contact with our MILL events or Irtijal. So a great pleasure, hopefully with time and common work we will find ways to make some unique music together.


Blogger nayla said...

just heard in the grapevine about this blog. although i'm not a musician, i liked what i read because here, in beirut, no news about improvisation. and also, modestly, i think i'm one of the BEST listeners ! haha

9:50 AM  
Blogger Stefane said...

you got it Nayla !

1:15 AM  

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