Alternative & experimental music from the Arab world in Sweden: event, residency and collaboration news

photo by Alexander Mahmoud
Working with an ever expanding network of partners in Sweden since August 2016, with a focus on connecting experimental, alternative and electronic music communities in Sweden and the Arab world.
This week, we just wrapped up the first part of an exciting residency bringing together Egyptian composer Maurice Louca with musicians from Sweden, Anna HögbergElsa Bergam and Isak Hedjärn; Italy, Pasquale MirraPiero Bittolo Bon and Tommaso Cappellato, Turkey, Ozun Usta and Denmark, Rasmus Kjærgård Lund. In 2018, this nine-piece band will perform the work written by Louca in Sweden, the Arab world and possibly embark on some European touring.

Earlier in July, we kicked off the 2017/18 chapter with two residencies at EMS featuring Aya Metwalli and ZULI from Cairo, who also performed at Norbergfestival 2017.


Two or the Dragon

Lebanese electro-acoustic noise
5 Sept 2017 | KROCH #7

Lebanese electro-acoustic noise duo created by Beirut-based musicians Abed Kobeissy and Ali Hout as an expression of their interest in urban sounds and Arabic music.

Hout and Kobeissy grew up in the Beirut of the 1990’s (universally described at the time as “the biggest construction site in the world”), a city that was and still is haunted by a crude aural landscape and the violent sound of heavy machinery destroying what was left of the city, and contributing in the collective obliviousness of post-war Lebanon. The duo’s main incentive is to allow this aural memory to find its way into their work as composers and performers.

Following the release of their debut EP Prelude for the Triumphant Man, the duo land in Stockholm for a two-week residency at EMS Stockholm (Elektronmusikstudion) and a performance as part of a triple bill in the KROCH #7 music series at Pygméteatern, with further shows in Malmö, Gothenburg and Oslo to be announced soon.


Lekhfa: Maurice Louca, Maryam Saleh & Tamer Abu Ghazaleh

5 Nov 2017 | Fasching
Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca and and Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, names that have turned heads in alternative Arabic music with solo albums and conspicuous collaborations, with Lekhfa they give birth to an off kilter sound where layers of grit and beauty intertwine in and around the dystopian poems of their contemporary Mido Zoheir. Inspiring the work of these three musicians is a distinct sentiment that Zoheir taps into, penning a certain reckoning with reality that eschews nihilism in favor of jubilant desperation.

Following their January 2017 residency at Inter Arts Center in Malmö, in collaboration with Inkonst, where the trio worked with their musicians on developing the live rendendering of this album, they return to Sweden for a concert on Sunday 5 November at Fasching presented by Re:orient.

The album was just announced with the lead track Ekaa Maksour (rythm broken) ahead of its worldwide release on 22 Sept and touring in 2017/18.