Spaziomusica – 17 settembre
Centro Comunale d’arte e Cultura – Il Ghetto (Quartiere Castello) ore 21.00
An Audio-Visual Performance
Wormholes is an ongoing audio-visual project by Mazen Kerbaj (inks and solvents) and Sharif Sehnaoui (acoustic guitar). It is performed live and in total improvisation mode. The question of a music/drawing duo has been persistent since the early stages of Kerbaj and Sehanoui’s artistic relation – they play improvised music together since the late 90’s – but how to frame it? In 2008, Kerbaj came up with a new system he had developed, that allows him to perform in a live setting. It consists of drawing on a glass table, using a wide array of ink, water, solvents, brushes and various unidentified objects. With this setting, both sound and visual elements are improvised and exist only during the timeframe of the performance. Nothing is permanent or even fixed, the lines have their own life, they are constantly modifying. As Sehnaoui can stop the sound of his guitar by muting the strings with his hand, Kerbaj can equally erase his entire drawing with one move. The possibilities for interaction have increased considerably. Wormholes is an attempt to alter a specific segment within time and space, hoping to open a corridor between two artistic disciplines, allowing them to give each other meaning. It is in many ways the outcome of over 12 years of artistic collaboration and understanding.
Sharif Sehnaoui is a free improvising guitarist. He plays both electric & acoustic guitars, with (or without) extended and prepared techniques, focusing on expanding the intrinsic possibilities of these instruments without the use of effects or electronics. He resides in Beirut after more than a decade in Paris, where he started his career as an improviser in 1998, playing at Instants Chavirés where he was a member of several orchestras. He has since performed his music worldwide and played in many festivals such as Soundfield (Chicago), Moers, Mulhouse Music Festival, Club Transmediale (Berlin), Skanu Mesz (Riga) or Musikprotokoll (Graz). Along with Mazen Kerbaj he created the “Irtijal” festival in 2001, contributing to the emergence of an unprecedented experimental music scene in Lebanon. He also runs several labels: “Al Maslakh”, devoted to “publish the un-publishable” on the Lebanese musical scene. “Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu”, an Al Maslakh sub-label dedicated to rock oriented experimentations. And finally “Annihaya”, a label with a focus on sampling, recycling and revisiting various aspects of popular culture.
Mazen Kerbaj, born in 1975, lives and works in Beirut. His main activities are comics, paintings and music. He published more than a dozen books and many short stories and drawings in anthologies, newspapers and magazines such as L’Association, Dar el Adab, Internazionale or Le Monde Diplomatique. His work was exhibited both in solo and in collective exhibitions in Lebanon, France, England, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and the USA among other places. He is also one of the founders of the Lebanese free improvisation scene, both as a trumpet player and as an active member in the MILL association that organizes the annual Irtijal festival (www.irtijal.org) in Beirut since 2001. In 2005 he launches Al Maslakh, the first label for this music in the region (www.almaslakh.org). For the past 10 years, Mazen Kerbaj has played and toured in solo and with various groups in the Middle East, all around Europe, and in the USA.
Please find excerpts of the first, second and third Wormholes performance at the following links:
Full performances here: