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Abu Hamdan/Atoui/Sehnaoui Trio

April 24, 2019 8:00 pm

Sharif Sehnaoui: electric guitar
Jad Atoui: modular synth, electronics
Shakeeb Abu Hamdan: percussion, electronics

Sine waves through analog modules, strings through overlapping tremolo chains, drums, and percussion through tape echoes, this new trio is set to explore sound territories as predictable as their special instrumentation allows. Sehnaoui, a pioneer of the Beirut experimental scene, is here joined by Atoui, a pre-eminent figure of the ever-rising electronic music constellation, and Abu Hamdan, an unclassifiable artist/musician who has recently relocated in Lebanon from the UK.

Shakeeb Abu Hamdan is an artist, musician, and recording engineer living in Beirut. he has been heavily involved in the DIY music scenes of London and Leeds in the UK over the past 15 years, playing in various experimental rock/weird punk bands including cleckhuddersfax, please and Isambard Kingston Brunel, running ouse, a recording studio and label, and organizing the total inertia music festival. Recent performances and recordings have centered around the use of drums, collected metals, bells, and cymbals augmented and amplified with megaphones and other lo-tech electronics.

Jad Atoui is a Lebanese music composer and sound experimentalist, who relies on bio-sensors, field recordings, and analog gear to create complex electronic compositions. In 2015, in collaboration with scientist Ivan Marazzi, Atoui spearheaded the “biosonics” project, which aims to incorporate natural plants’ behaviors as compositional tools. The project was later published in John Zorn’s “arcana book vol. xviii” and premiered at the national sawdust as part of the stone’s commissioning series. Atoui has worked and performed with acclaimed musicians such as John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Marc Ribot, and Chuck Bettis, as well as Lebanese musicians Munma and Sharif Sehnaoui.

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. He now resides in Beirut, his hometown, after more than a decade in Paris, where he started his career as an improviser in 1998, playing at instants chavirés as a member of several orchestras. He has since performed his music worldwide and played in many clubs & festivals such as Moers, Konfrontationen (Nickelsdorf), High Zero (Baltimore), Météo Music Festival (Mulhouse), Ctm & Maerzmusik (Berlin), Le Guess Who? (Utrchet), Fest (Tunis), Skanu Mesz (Riga), 100live (Cairo) or Musikprotokoll (Graz).

In Lebanon, he actively contributed to the emergence of an unprecedented experimental music scene. Along with Mazen Kerbaj he created “Irtijal” in 2000, a yearly international festival that is the oldest improvised and new music festival in the Arab world. Irtijal celebrated its xvth anniversary in 2015.

He also runs two record labels: “Al maslakh” devoted to “publish the un-publishable” on the Lebanese musical scene. And “Annihaya”, focusing on sampling, recycling, and the displacement of various aspects of popular culture.

His main groups and projects include the “A” trio (with Kerbaj & Raed Yassin), “Wormholes” an audio-visual performance with Kerbaj drawing live on a glass table, and Karkhana, a middle-eastern based super-group combining musicians from Beirut, Cairo & Istanbul, and solo on the acoustic guitar using unique percussive techniques. He also works with dance (Atsushi Takenouchi, Ali Chahrour, Taoufiq Izzediou…), theater (Carlos Chahine, Raeda Taha…), and composes music for film (Ghassan Salhab, Akram Zaatari, Mai Masri…)

Over the years he has collaborated with several musicians including Tony Elieh, Michael Zerang, Paed Conca, Thierry Madiot, Julian Sartorius, Franz Hautzinger, Radwan Moumneh, Tony Buck, Maurice Louca, Eddie Prevost, Jean-François Pauvros, Alan Bishop, Umut çağlar, Michael Vorfeld or Saadet Turkoz to name but a few.