Irtijal 2020

Day 1 – Detailed Program

Sunday, November 1st, 2020

Zoukak Studio, Qarantina – 7.00 pm

Paed Conca & Ghassan Sahhab

Paed Conca clarinet
Ghassan Sahhab qānūn

Paed Conca

Born in Berne, Switzerland, bass and clarinet player Paed Conca is an experienced musician in the fields of experimental music, improvised music and electronic, for the past 25 years or so. He has written music for theatre, dance, film productions and small ensembles, and has toured extensively in Europe, Russia, Japan and Lebanon, with a vast array of international musicians.

His numerous projects, past and present, include Blast4tet (with Dirk Bruinsma, Frank Crijns and Fabrizio Spera), Best Before (with Bruno Meillier and Dominique Lentin), Cleee (with Martin Schütz, Patricia Wydmer, Madeleine Bishop, Margrit Rieben, Thomas Meier and Dirk Bruinsma), Bushwac (with Steve Buchanan), Praed (with Raed Yassin), and Porta Chiusa (with Michael Thieke and Hans Koch).

Ghassan Sahhab

Ghassan Sahhab is a Lebanese musicologist, composer, and musician. He released his first album “Sharqi” (My Orient) in 2017, as well as numerous instrumental pieces for theater plays, films and podcasts. Sahhab has performed in concerts and projects in France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Australia, Italy, Azerbaijan, the Arab region and Lebanon. He is a member of the classical Arabic musical ensemble of the Université Antonine (UA) and Asil Ensemble for Contemporary Arabic Music. He is also a renowned researcher in the musical traditions of the Mašriq, and the co-founder and musical director of “Me’zaf”, a musical cultural initiative dedicated to authentic Levantine music.


Nadia Daou electric guitar, electric bass, synth, voice

NAR © Nico Neefs

Lebanese multi-instrumentalist and singer/spoken word performer Nadia Daou uses a variety of instruments including electric guitar, synth, guembri and karakeb, exploring loops in an atypical manner, creating soundscapes, drones and complex rhythmical improvisations layered one after the other, generating in the process the perfect environment to declaim her words and poetry, often quoting poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Lydia Lunch. At once powerful, fragile and abrasive, N R’s music finds its roots in a large spectrum of sounds, going from traditional and ritual music to electronics, noise and avant-garde bands as Psychic TV, Neu!, Tony Conrad and Silver Apples.

Two or the Dragon

Abed Kobeissy bowed buzuq, electric buzuq, effects
Ali Hout daholla, zill, effects

Two or The Dragon

Two or the Dragon is the electro-acoustic duo of Abed Kobeissy and Ali Hout. Interested in urban sounds and Arabic music, this Lebanese duo approaches Beirut’s urban soundscapes as a local aesthetic and a main component of their work: the unique sound of processed Buzuq and percussions, combined with the two musicians’ background in traditional Arabic music, takes the sonic, visual and pseudo-political day-to-day that is Beirut and reflects it onto a hyper-realistic soundscape. Kobeissy and Hout also compose scores for contemporary dance and theater productions.

Aya Metwalli & Calamita

Aya Metwalli electric guitar, synth, voice
Sharif Sehnaoui electric guitar
Tony Elieh electric bass
Malek Rizkallah drums


Beirut-born guitarist Sharif Sehnaoui specializes in free improvisation and is equally at ease with both the electric and acoustic guitar. By preparing his instruments using specific techniques, he expands their sound spectrum in individual ways, experimenting as well with the percussive qualities of the guitar. Together with improvising musician Mazen Kerbaj, Sehnaoui co-founded Irijal, an experimental music festival that has taken place annually since 2001 in Beirut – the only one of its kind in the Arab world. At home he plays in the “A” Trio and BAO groups, among others.

Tony Elieh was a founding member of Scrambled Eggs, one of Beirut’s most prolific and talented rock bands of the early 2000’s, and remained with the group from its beginnings until its precocious demise in 2015. Elieh is nowadays a member of improvising experimental ensembles Karkhana and Electric Wormholes. He has contributed to the soundtracks of several Lebanese feature films, including “A Perfect Day” and “Je Veux Voir” by Lebanese directors Khalil Joreige and Joana Hadjithomas. He has also performed a live accompaniment to Lebanese dancer Pierre Geagea’s performance “Mother Tongue” with Lebanese musician and Irtijal founder Sharif Sehnaoui.

Aya Metwalli

Aya Metwalli is a singer/songwriter from Cairo who has been performing her original material since November 2011. Starting solely with her acoustic guitar and voice, she gradually expanded her live set after studying music production in 2014. She self-released her first album, an EP entitled “Beitak”, in December 2016. Lately, she has been leaning towards the avant-pop genre, where she combines her guilty pleasure of the love of pop music and being inevitably influenced by it, and more experimental and eerie sonic excursions.

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