Day 1 – Detailed Program
Wednesday, September 15th, 2021
Metro Al Madina – 8.00pm
Maurice Louca – Solo
Maurice Louca guitar, synth
Maurice Louca is an Egyptian musician and composer born in Cairo, and currently splitting his time between his native city and Berlin. As well as being the co-founder of the bands Bikya, Alif, The Dwarfs of East Agouza, Karkhana, and Lekhfa he lends his sound to numerous projects, composing for theatre, dance and contemporary art. His third solo album “Saet El Hazz” (The Luck Hour), featuring contributions from Lebanese musicians Mazen Kerbaj, Sharif Sehnaoui, Raed Yassin and Khaled Yassine, will be released on September 24, 2021.
Fadi Tabbal synth
Julia Sabra voice, synth
Julia Sabra is a Lebanese musician, songwriter, composer, and sound engineer. She co-founded acclaimed Lebanese dream-pop outfit Postcards in 2013 and is the band’s lead singer, lyricist, co-composer, and multi-instrumentalist. Postcards have released 3 EPs and 2 albums between 2013 and 2020, with a third full-length due late 2021, and have regularly been touring Europe and the Middle East since 2015. She has been the manager of Tunefork Studios since 2017 and works in live sound and composition with the studio.
Lebanese musician, producer, and sound engineer Fadi Tabbal’s work consist of guitar pieces ranging from stripped acoustics to ambient and shoegazing-inspired treatments. Often referred to as “the hardest-working man in Lebanon’s alternative music scene”, Tabbal relocated to Beirut in 2006 following studies in sound engineering in Montreal, Canada; he promptly established Tunefork Recording Studios, a specialized work-space which offers customized services including full-band recordings, live sound, music production, and composition.
Julia and Fadi collaborated for the first time on the Ruptured-curated series of recordings “The Drone Sessions”, in November 2020. This performance for Irtijal’21 will be their second live outing.
Conca/Koch Beirut Septet
Caroline Ann Baur laptop, synth
Paed Conca clarinet
Akram Hajj drums
Mortada Hariri oud
Hans Koch clarinet
Marc Ernest synth
Zakaria Al Omar voice
Caroline Ann Baur lives and works in Zurich. She completed her Master in Fine Arts at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) in 2017. In her artistic work, Caroline moves between installation, craft, sound art and collaborative experiments. She focuses on the creation of social spaces with the practice of active listening. Experiences of the communal were also the focus of the Zurich based off space Raum*Station, which she co-founded and co-directed for four years with a group of eight people. She is a house artist of the Gessnerallee Zürich and has exhibited in Institutions such as Shedhalle Zürich, Kunsthalle St.Gallen, and Shetland Arts. As an author, she writes for weekly newspapers WOZ and Schaffhauser AZ, among others. She also teaches at various Swiss art universities.
Paed Conca is a clarinet and electric bass player. He is also a composer and improviser. He has been active in contemporary and improvised music scenes for 30 years and has collaborated with many different musicians, actors, dancers, painters, and poets. Paed has performed in various types of spaces besides traditional concert venues and theaters, including coal mines, shells, factory buildings, forests, and public baths. His current touring projects include Praed (with Raed Yassin), Porta Chiusa (a clarinet trio with Hans Koch and Michael Thieke), and Gamra (with Patrizia Oliva, Eugenio Sanna, and Stefano Giust). Paed has also composed music for theater, dance, and films: his compositions for theater include “Self Accusation“, a play by Peter Handke, and “Collecting Home” with Yara Bou Nassar. Paed’s compositions for dance include “Übermut“, a performance by the ÖFF-ÖFF theater in Bern and “One (idea) – happening live” by Jenni Arne.
Firmly poised behind an array of toms and cymbals, Akram Hajj cuts an imposing figure as the master drummer of Lebanese post-rock band Kinematik. Post-rock quartet Kinematik came into existence in the Lebanese mountain village of Reyfoun in the summer of 2014. The four men recorded debut album Ala’ in the spring of 2017, rapidly gaining notoriety on Beirut’s live circuit for their incendiary live shows and intricate video projections.They released their sophomore album Murur Al-Kiram in the winter of 2020 for Lebanese indie imprint Ruptured. In addition to his duties as the main drummer for Kinematik, Hajj is a session player at Tunefork Studios in Beirut, where he has recorded soundtracks for films and television ads. He also performs in the experimental electro-acoustic duo “Escalier B” with Lebanese electronic producer Ziad Moukarzel and has recently embarked on a successful collaboration with vocalist Nadia Daou aka NAR.
Mortada Hariri is an oud player and maker at Assil factory for classical oud making. A musicology graduate from Antonine University (musique savante arabe), he is also the oud player with the Manfiyin band. He has performed in concert with Martin Loyato, the Manfiyin band, and in Metro al Madina’s event “Distortion”.
Mortada has composed multiple soundtracks for movies and recorded an album with the Manfiyin band under the supervision of Ghassan Sahhab.
After leaving a classical career as an orchestral musician, Hans Koch made a name for himself as one of the most innovative improvising woodwind players in Europe. Since the eighties, he has worked with many greats, including Cecil Taylor and Fred Frith. As a composer, he shaped the independent sound of the internationally-known trio “Koch-Schütz-Studer”, using electronics, samplings and computers. As a woodwind player, he has developed a very independent style, which has made him one of the most original wind players on the current scene. Hans has also composed music for radio plays and films. His current touring projects include Porta Chiusa, a clarinet trio with Hans Koch and Michael Thieke.
Zakaria al Omar started singing and playing oud since he was a young boy. He grew up in a family that has a long tradition of Sufi singing, and took on his uncle’s principles of playing the oud at an early age. He took the Sufi music science at the age of ten in Aleppo, learned Sufi singing from its’ great professional vocalists, then joined Sufi singing bands. Zakaria is a member and co-founder of the Tajalli Sufi band, where he composes, sings and plays the oud.
Marc Ernest studied at the Lebanese Higher National Conservatory for eight years. Marc studied piano, music theory, harmony and counterpoint, perfecting his knowledge and insight under the close guidance of the late and renowned composer Boghos Gelalian (1927-2011). In 2013, he graduated with a (BMus) Bachelor of Musicology from the Holy-Spirit University in Kaslik (USEK).
Alongside his discipline in classical performance, Marc was always fascinated with jazz and other alternative genres of music, which led him to go on a personal journey with his primary instrument, the piano, beginning with independent research on the basics of jazz and other music idioms, and their application on the piano. By 2007, he released his first album of Oriental Mouwachah (sung poetry of Andalusia and the Levant), entitled “Duende”.
Marc Ernest showcased his performance style in various recitals as both a solo pianist and a band member. His endeavors include arrangement and piano for Metro al Madina’s show “Aalam Al Tofnis” (2012) and “Aghene Servicet” (2015), as well as sessions at Abeyrout Studios with Khaled Mouzannar. Marc has co-founded multiple bands in different musical genres, including Osmosis (since 2008), Marc Ernest Trio (since 2009), and Little Tomatoes (since 2012).
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