This concert features three different acts that draw important connections between new sonic geographies and physicality.
American composer and instrumentalist Pauline Oliveros's groundbreaking work in tape, electronics, and improvisation as well as her related writings and theory since the 1960s have earned her recognition as one of the most important voices in avant-garde electronic music. She performs with electronics and accordion, which she has played from a young age, often also making use of a signal processing system she developed, called the Expanded Instrument System (EIS). Influenced by Eastern philosophies, Oliveros’s ideas reach far beyond Western music tradition and have pioneered new ways of thinking about sound, significantly contributing to the theoretical canon surrounding the concepts of sonic affect and healing. Her writing about “deep listening” proposes that concentrated emotional and corporeal attunement to sound can bring about transcendent and transformative experiences, and her theory of “sonic awareness” describes the act of focusing attention, over an extended duration, on an environment’s aural characteristics.
This evening, Oliveros will be performing together with Lebanese trumpet player Mazen Kerbaj and Irish improviser and composer Karen Power. Both artists currently live and work in Berlin, thanks to a residency grant by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD. Preceding the concert, Oliveros will share the thoughts and philosophies that have shaped her work over the years in an artist talk.
On Friday, February 5th at HAU1, Oliveros is joined by word artist Ione for the world premiere of the improv piece “Mountain Above / Fire Below; Now”. On Saturday, February 6th, Oliveros invites the audience to “Listening for Peace”, an hour-long deep listening meditation. All proceeds from “Listening for Peace” will be donated to an emergency refugee shelter in the Turnhalle of the Hector-Peterson-Schule, which neighbors HAU3.
The achievements of guitarist and free improviser Sharif Sehnaoui's musical career have been dependent on his equal role as pioneer and activist. With Mazen Kerbaj and Raed Yassin, Sehnaoui formed “A” Trio, whose first album release in 2003 was allegedly the first dated recording of Arab free-improv music. Sehnaoui’s co-founding of Irtijal, Lebanon’s only experimental music festival, was another groundbreaking act of ambition and expansion in the face of Lebanon’s landscape of political tension. CTM has commissioned a collaboration between Sehnaoui, Omar Rajeh, and Malek Andary. Rajeh is a Lebanese dance choreographer and founder of BIPOD, the biggest contemporary dance festival in the Arab world. Malek Andary has widely expanded the notion of folklore in Arabic dance. They will perform a contemporary rendition of traditional Lebanese sword dances & dabkeh propelled by Sehnaoui’s industrial/oriental rhythms and swirling improvisations.
To close this special concert night, Japanese musician Takuya Taniguchi performs a solo piece for Taiko drums. Continuing in the footsteps of his Master, Eitetsu Hayashi, who is regarded as Japan’s foremost solo drummer and co-founded the world renowned ensembles Kodo and Ondekoza, Takuya Taniguchi bridges the Taiko tradition with influences of a variety of contemporary music cultures.
Supported by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, Goethe-Institut and the Federal Foreign Office.
Karen Power is a contemporary Irish composer, educator, and improviser whose work creates feedback loops between everyday, environmental sounds and acoustic and electroacoustic composition.
Malek Andary is a Lebanese choreographer and dancer specializing in dabke, an Arabic folk dance also practiced in Syria, Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq.
As a choreographer, dancer, and artistic director at Lebanese dance company Maqamat, Omar Rajeh explores the social and political issues of modern-day Beirut through the gesturing body.
Takuya Taniguchi is a master of Taiko drumming, one of Japan's oldest musical traditions dating back thousands of years. A cultural emissary of sorts, he performs with multicultural ensembles and leads master classes and workshops throughout Europe and his home country.
Sharif Sehnaoui is a free-improvising guitarist whose aim is to expand the possibilities of the instrument without the use of effects or electronics. He has also been a key force in the unprecedented rise of Lebanon's experimental music scene.
Active for over five decades, composer, accordionist, humanitarian, and educator Pauline Oliveros is a key figure in American contemporary music. Her pioneering work on deep listening has inspired legions of musicians and nourished critical scholarship in musicology and performance studies.
Mazen Kerbaj is a Lebanese writer, illustrator and musician who has helped break new ground in Beirut's free improvisation and experimental music scenes.