Austrian-lebanese photographer Tanya Traboulsi photographed this year's Irtijal festival in Beirut, our favorite festival for experimental music in the Middle East. We further asked festival co-organizer and musician Sharif Sehnaoui a couple of questions.
«Irtijal means improvisation in Arabic, although since its creation in 2001, the festival has never been strictly a free improv festival and pretty much evolved to have a much wider musical reach, trying to cover all types of new and innovative music making, always seeking to cover new ground. But we like to think that Improvisation has remained the spirit that animates the festival.» (Sharif Sehnaoui, 2013)
«The 2013 edition is in some ways much smaller than the 2012 one. This is very much due to the local and regional situation. There is so much uncertainty in the area that while planning ahead for Irtijal, I decided to stay on the safe side. Still the four day festival was quite dense and very rich in styles and figures: modern and experimental electronic music (Gert-Jan Prins; Miles; Morphosis…); avant-rock and noise (There is no Why; Shalabi Effect; Balazs Pandi…); finally and probably for the first time in our 13 year history there was a strong presence of new and free oriental music!!! (Khyam Allami & Maurice Louca with Lukas Ligeti; City of Salt…)» (Sharif Sehnaoui, 2013)
Festival Reviews in Lebanese Media
New and Related Releases from Beirut
Check Norient articles around music in Beirut here. And recommend the book «Local Music Scenes and Globalization – Transnational Platforms in Beirut», by Thomas Burkhalter (Editor-in-Chief, Norient.com), to your library – or order it. Info Here.