Alif Ensemble at DañsFabrik Festival, Brest

DansFabrik Festival, Brest, France

This month, Alif Ensemble will debut in France as part of Beyrouth Les Lucioles at DansFabrik Festival de Brest, curated by Yalda Younes. Maurice Louca (one of the Alif Ensemble members) will also be performing a solo show.

For more information, please click here. Full programme of Beyrouth Les Lucioles:

de Danya Hammoud – 18 mars

TAJWAL d’Alexandre Paulikevitch – 22 mars

MAHALLI de Danya Hammoud – 19 mars

de Nancy Naous – 21 mars


ENTRE TEMPS 2 de Khouloud Yassine – 20 mars
LE SILENCE DE L’ABANDON de Khouloud Yassine – 22 mars


HOME expo photos de Tanya Traboulsi

film de Rania Stephan

Film music for Free Range by Bassem Breish

A still from Free Range directed by Bassem Breish © Jean Boutros

Dear friends, I’m very happy to announce my first venture into film. I recently composed and recorded a solo Oud soundtrack to Bassem Breish‘s upcoming short film “Free Range” whilst I was in Beirut last December.

A cow crosses the border from Israel to Lebanon and meets with 10 year-old Malakeh and her family. Based on a true story “Free Range” is a grotesque comedy about power struggles between humans, religions, borders, peace keepers and cows.

Much gratitude to both Fadi Tabbal (Tunefork Studios) for his guidance and production skills, and to Bassem for asking me to work with him.

The film is currently undergoing final post-production sound mixing and will premier soon. More info as soon as its announced.

Click here to see some photos from the shoot by Jean Boutros.

Scandinavian Tour Oct/Nov 2013

Scandinavian tour as part of Beirut & Beyond International Music Festival in partnership with Oslo World Music Festival. 6 artists in 1 evening: Khyam Allami (Oud Solo), Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca, El Rass, El Far3i.

30th Oct 2013 – Oslo World Music Festival, BLÅ, Oslo, NO
31st Oct 2013 – Södra Teatern, Stockholm, SE
1st Nov 2013 – Moriska Paviljongen, Malmö, SE
2nd Nov 2013 – Global, Copenhagen, DK

Rainbow Theatre, Amman, 1-3 August

Dear friends,
At the beginning of August I will be in Amman again for three consecutive shows at the Rainbow Theatre performing Resonance/Dissonance (solo), playing percussion with Maryam Saleh, and drums with Tamer Abu Ghazaleh! Hope to see you at one of the shows!

Thu 1st August – Rainbow Theatre, Amman
Resonance/Dissonance solo

Fri 2nd August – Rainbow Theatre, Amman
Percussion with Maryam Saleh

Sat 3rd August – Rainbow Theatre, Amman
Drums with Tamer Abu Ghazaleh

Voices of Khyam Allami – A film by Carine Mneimneh

“Retrospective journey with Khyam Allami, self-called “schizophrenic” oud player and former heavy-metal drummer. The film includes fragments of his performance in London for the commemoration of the war in Iraq alongside reflections on his musical path. An encounter in the form of an intimate portrait-interview. A film by Carine Mneimneh”

Alif Ensemble – Summer 2013 Arab World Tour


Alif Ensemble will be on tour across the Arab world this summer! We’re looking forward to seeing you all!

6 June – El Cabina, Alexandria, EG (Open rehearsal and discussion with the band)
7 June – Darb 1718, Cairo, EG
19 June – Mousiqa Wessalem Festival, Carthage, TN
1 July – Metro Al Madina, Beirut, LB
3 July – AlBalad Theatre, Amman, JO

The Exquisite Corpse Game


Fold 1: Khyam Allami
Fold 2: Karda Estra
Fold 3: JG Thirlwell
Fold 4: Kavus Torabi
Fold 5: British Theatre
Fold 6: Bob Drake
Fold 7: Weasel Walter
Fold 8: Dominique Leone
Fold 9: Appleblim
Fold 10: Katharine Blake
Fold 11: Max Tundra
Fold 12: Mikrokosmos
Fold 13: Craig Fortnam

Exquisite corpse is a method by which a collection of images is collectively assembled. Each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence until finally the whole completed picture is revealed. This technique invented by the Surrealists is similar to the old parlour game, Consequences, in which players write in turn on a sheet of paper, fold it to conceal part of the writing, and then pass it to the next player for a further contribution.

The Exquisite Corpse Game is a unique musical collaboration based on these rules, featuring Khyam Allami, Karda Estra, JG Thirlwell (Foetus/ Manorexia/ Steroid Maximus etc), Kavus Torabi (Knifeworld/ Cardiacs/ Guapo), British Theatre (Oceansize/ Biffy Clyro), Bob Drake (Thinking Plague/ 5uu’s/ The Science Group etc), Weasel Walter (The Flying Luttenbachers/ Behold The Arctopus), Dominique Leone, Appleblim, Katharine Blake (Mediaeval Baebes/ Miranda Sex Garden), Max Tundra, Mikrokosmos (Levitation/ Dark Star/ Cardiacs), Craig Fortnam (North Sea Radio Orchestra/ Arch Garrison).

Once the first ‘fold’ was recorded each artist was given only the last 20 seconds of the previous composition and had to continue by recording instrumental music in any way they saw fit. Whether they chose to develop themes or take an obtuse 90 degree turn was entirely up to them.

Each ‘fold’ had to be a response to the 20 seconds they were given and be between one and four minutes long.

None of the contributors heard the entire piece until the final ‘fold’ had been completed

Taken individually, The Exquisite Corpse Game represents thirteen brand new, original compositions by thirteen innovative musical artists but taken as a whole the entire album has a kaleidoscopic, dream-like yet homogenous quality. Themes and ideas seem to repeat and reoccur throughout in a way that could not have been known to the contributors. There is an ebb and flow throughout that sounds both pre-concieved and deliberate.

The Exquisite Corpse Game will be released by Believers Roast on September the 2nd but pre-orders will be shipped at least one month ahead of this date.

Pre-order online by clicking here! Visit the Believers Roast facebook page here!

Upcoming shows in Cairo and Alexandria

10th Apr 2013 – Maryam Saleh
Beit El-Raseef, Cairo, EG
Playing percussion with Maryam Saleh singing Sheikh Emam

13th Apr 2013 – Tamer Abu Ghazaleh
Darb 1718, Cairo, EG
Playing Drums with Tamer Abu Ghazaleh

15th Apr 2013 – Solo
Beit El-Raseef, Cairo, EG
Resonance/Dissonance (solo) – Double Bill with Maurice Louca.

17th Apr 2013 – Maryam Saleh
Teatro, Alexandria, EG
Playing percussion with Maryam Saleh singing Sheikh Emam

19th Apr 2013 – Solo
Jesuits Cultural Centre, Alexandria, EG
Resonance/Dissonance (solo)