Arab Today, arab today when new music is at odds with a classic venue
Last Updated : GMT 23:25:51
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

When new music is at odds with a classic venue

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today When new music is at odds with a classic venue

Beirut - Arabstoday

At one point in Checkpoint 303’s politically charged 90-minute multimedia performance at Dawar al-SHAMS Saturday night, the phrase “out of place” flashed on screen. Unfortunately, this phrase was more resonant than the rest of the activist sound project’s performance. Blazing on screen during the musical collective’s tune “Said Guevara,” “out of place” lost whatever political poignancy may have been intended, to become instead a synopsis for a show that would have been less underwhelming were it better placed. Founded in 2004 with the collaboration of Tunis’ SC (sound cutter) Mosha and Palestine’s SC (sound catcher) Yosh, Checkpoint 303, has worked with numerous artists and friends across the region and world. The team’s brand of experimental electronic music reworks field recordings, rhythms and beats into activist tunes intended to highlight civil society’s struggle in the Middle East. Among the project’s best-known works, “Said Guevara” mingles speeches by Che Guevara and Edward Said to create a track that, in its rhythm and aural atmosphere, is evocative of Gill Scott-Heron’s iconic 1970 tune “The Revolution will not be Televised” while speaking to this region. Also recognized is “Gaza Calling,” which features the voice of Gaza resident Bilal as he repeatedly tries to get through to the U.N. by phone, and “Needle stuck on Lebanon,” which underlines the deja vu of the July-August 2006 war by mixing radio, TV and Internet news broadcasts from that summer. All three, among other more recent recordings from the group’s “Sidi Bouzid Syndrome” EP, were performed Saturday night as part of Beirut’s Spring Festival, with SCs Mosha and Yosh accompanied by Miss K Sushi on piano and Rodovan on bass guitar. Arrayed before the large projection screen, the four musicians received an enthusiastic but far from ecstatic welcome by Dawar al-SHAMS’ appreciative audience. The three-quarters full auditorium appeared to be comprised of long-term fans, with a handful of older Spring Festival regulars sprinkled in. They listened attentively, applauded adequately, threw in the odd whistle of approval but filed out at the end without even so much as a whimper of wanting more. For their part, the foursome on stage never seemed to feel their own performance. As can be the case with experimental music, a conventional performance dynamic (a sense that the performers were venturing into their compositions, say, or tangible climax) was absent. In short, the show belied the passion beneath the work – a passion that’s obvious when you’re attentive to the intricacy of the tunes: whether Mosha’s haunting oud or the carefully chosen and placed urban soundscapes. This is an intricacy that can be appreciated at home. A live show – especially when it’s defined by the auditorium conventions of stage and audience – needs something more. It cries out for the alchemical interaction provoked when music permeates both performers and audience. Why was this ineffable magic absent Saturday night? The culprit appears to be the venue. With its theater seating and staging, Dawar al-SHAMS confines onlookers to their chairs, establishes clear lines of separation between performers and fans, muting the audience. Such a venue is better suited to conventional theater and classical music concerts. In this context, Checkpoint 303’s concert felt utterly misplaced. It might have proved an entirely different affair had it been staged in a less formal music venue – Zico House, say, or EM Chill. As one audience member audibly whispered halfway though, “This would be better with a beer.” The venue alone can’t be held accountable. Acknowledging that most electronic music performance isn’t interested in conventional on stage-off stage alchemy, Checkpoint 303’s was not a visually engaging show. For most of the performance, there may as well have been cardboard cutouts on stage instead of human musicians. The lack of visible energy and enthusiasm among the ensemble played a substantial role in the concert’s overall lethargy. Three or four numbers appeared likely to change this, as the bopping of Miss K Sushi – the only band member who visibly moved to the music during the performance – seemed to infect SC Mosha. Alas, the sound cutter’s animation proved momentary. While the whole failed to satisfy, one particular component of the show is worthy of note. Between tracks, Checkpoint 303’s screen settled on the image of a sign at a checkpoint in Occupied Palestine. In Hebrew, English and Arabic the sign says “Stop and wait for instructions. Prepare documents for inspection.” Each time this sign returned to the screen, it was accompanied by a deep, rumbling recording – evocative of a roll of thunder that fails to eventually boom. It induces an unsettling anxiety in the listener. Each track ended with the audience’s polite applause giving way not to the next track but to this impending sense of danger. Also curious was the audience’s unusually long silence at the conclusion of “Needle stuck on Lebanon.” Perhaps this betrays the power of which Checkpoint 303’s experimentation is capable. Maybe this one moment, of rendering a Beirut audience silent, should be noted beyond the otherwise uninspiring quality of the event. Checkpoint 303’s music is capable of affecting listeners. Next time the project hits Beirut, let’s hope they perform someplace else.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today when new music is at odds with a classic venue Arab Today, arab today when new music is at odds with a classic venue

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook
Arab Today, arab today Tourist guide explains types of tourism

GMT 18:28 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Tourist guide explains types of tourism
Arab Today, arab today Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures
Arab Today, arab today Iran complying with nuclear deal

GMT 07:14 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Iran complying with nuclear deal
Arab Today, arab today Zainab al-Maliki reveals herTV presenter models

GMT 18:12 2017 Friday ,24 February

Zainab al-Maliki reveals herTV presenter models
View News in Arabic - Culture: أخبار الثقافة والفنون
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career

GMT 06:08 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection

GMT 10:20 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Brazil's top diplomat resigns

GMT 11:54 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Saudis await visitors but will they come?

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday