Irtijal 2021

Day 3 – Detailed Program

Friday, September 17th, 2021

The Ballroom Blitz – 8.00pm

Bana Haffar

Bana Haffar

Bana Haffar is a meandering electronic musician, field recordist, and bass player. She has released music with Touch, Vent, and Make Noise records and composed for Grammy-winning percussion quartet Third Coast Percussion. In 2014 together with Eric Cheslak, Bana founded “Modular on the Spot” in Los Angeles. She is a co-founder of the Beirut Synthesizer Center.

Hans Joachim Irmler’s Beirut Ensemble

Sandy Chamoun voice
Antonio Hajj bass
Hans-Joachim Irmler synth, conduction
Farah Kaddour buzuk
Anthony Sahyoun guitar, synth
Pascal Semerdjian drums
Marwan Tohme guitar

Hans Joachim Irmler

German musician Hans-Joachim Irmler, the man behind the legendary FAUST and Irtijal’21’s guest of honor, will conduct a 3-day intensive workshop with Lebanese musicians Sandy Chamoun, Antonio Hajj, Farah Kaddour, Anthony Sahyoun, Pascal Semerdjian and Marwan Tohme. This workshop will conclude with an ensemble performance at The Ballroom Blitz, on the closing night of Irtijal’21.

Born in 1950, Hans-Joachim Irmler began experimenting with sound-generating technology at a very early age, building his first organ while still in his teens. In 1969, he moved to Hamburg where he studied art and worked for television. There, he was quickly drawn into a collective of musicians and filmmakers, crystallizing to a band that would later be named Faust and which subsequently became known to people interested in avantgarde music all over the world. The band negotiated a contract with Polydor in 1971 in which they were granted their own studio and custom-buildt sound-processing equipment- enabling the very own combination of familiar sounds with electronically distorted and electronically generated sounds.

This musical and technological transmutation has become the leitmotiv of Irmler’s aesthetic. He always looked for ways to transmute common sounds into new, unheard soundscapes, working with self-built or heavily customized equipment. After starting his own keyboard-workshop in 1975 and after years of Faust-transformations, Irmler went on to form his own label Klangbad in 1996, on which he published not only Faust but also other bands (including Cluster, Circle, Ectogramm, Nightingales, Ole Lukkoye, … to name but a few) he recorded in the label’s own studio. In 2004, the studio relocated to the premises of a disused paper factory in the rural Swabian village Scheer. It contains all of Irmler’s equipment built over the last 30 years as well as new, computer-based recording tools. Initially established as a thank-you-party for the volunteers that helped building up the new studio, Irmler then curated the internationally acclaimed Klangbad Festival, running it until 2011 as a multiverse of avantgarde and experimental music.

Sandy Chamoun

Sandy Chamoun is a founding member of The Great Departed band, a political satire music project founded in 2013. They released their first album “La Bombe” in 2016 to acclaim across Arab-majority countries – followed by a European tour in 2017, organized in collaboration by Oslo World and Beirut & Beyond. Parallel to her work with the band, Sandy does her own concerts researching and singing Arabic folk songs with social and political critique. She has performed the repertoires of Sheikh Imam and Mona Meraashli at Metro Al Madina and other venues. She has also participated as an actor/singer in several theatrical productions, including “Political circus”, “Welada 88” and “Aghani Servicet”.

Anthony Sahyoun

Anthony Sahyoun is a Lebanese composer, musician and producer. In 2015 he co-founded instrumental rock outfit Kinematik. As a solo artist, he works on electronic processing of acoustic elements, programming, drone and ambient music – his music has been described as “apocalyptic, rich and emotionally charged.” Anthony also scores music for film and for sound installations. His side projects include electronic duo Stress Distress with guitarist Fadi Tabbal, experimental duo NP with producer Jad Atoui, duo May Berde with drummer Teddy Tawil, and Lebanese drone octet The Quiet Sanctuary. In 2018, he joined the ranks of Tunefork Studios, where he works as a producer and mixing engineer.

Pascal Semerdjian

Pascal Semerdjian is a Lebanese musician active in the Beirut scene since 2010. He co-founded acclaimed Lebanese dream pop/shoegaze trio Postcards in 2013, of which he is the drummer and co-composer. He is also the studio and live drummer for multiple projects, including: lo-fi rock band Interbellum (2016-present), cold wave duo The Bunny Tylers (2016-present), post-rock outfit Oiseaux-Tempetes (2017), surf rock band Prefaces (2021), and noise pop outfit The Incompetents (2019-present). Pascal is also a chef and slow-food producer.

Marwan Tohme

Marwan Tohme is a Lebanese composer and sound engineer. He is a co-founding member of Lebanese dream pop outfit Postcards and is the band’s co-composer, guitarist and bassist. He has been active in the Lebanese independent music scene as a recording/live musician and engineer as part of the Tunefork studios team, and has been part of the Bunny Tylers and the Incompetents.

Farah Kaddour

Farah Kaddour is a Beirut-based musician; she is also a program officer at Action for Hope, responsible for the music programs. Regular artist at Metro Al Madina, member of many local and international music groups and ensembles, performing traditional music, especially the music of the Levant.

Bakisa – Hybrid Set

Moe Choucair laptop, electronics


Director of The Ballroom Blitz and permanent resident of the Goldroom, Moe Choucair aka Bakisa works to build a sustainable scene in the Middle East, with programs that debut genres regularly on Friday nights. Under the “JACKTHEFISH” moniker, Moe internationally guested clubs, festivals, radio shows, and special showcases including two Boiler Rooms and a Mixmag documentary. He is also an editor of the Ballroom Express, a publication made to discuss musicians and art from the Middle Eastern region. His recent work involves online collaborative work around the world (wide web).


Day 1

Detailed Program

Day 2

Detailed Program

Day 3

Detailed Program

Find The Ballroom Blitz on the Map

The Ballroom Blitz Beirut

In Partnership with

Irtijal’20 is made possible with the support of