On Friday 24 October at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Arab British Centre and the Nour Festival presented the UK première of ‘Aswaat in Lebanon,’ a self-produced, semi-experimental film by Aymeric Cattenoz. The film explores the alternative music scene in Lebanon through thoughtful interviews with musicians, intimate home concerts, and spontaneous music played in the streets of Beirut.
Director Aymeric Cattenoz has put together a series of mixtapes for the Nour Festival blog, of songs featured in his film. Click on the link below to listen to Mixtape #3, and read on for more about the tracks and artists.
“Piste 09” by Marc Codsi
This song is from Codsi’s latest album, which has not yet been released. His beautiful first album, “Faded Postcards,” was released in 2010. He is a main actor on the contemporary music scene in Lebanon, as a former guitarist for the rock band Scrambled Eggs, through his work with famous producer Zeid Hamdan, his participation in the soundtrack to the film “Beyrouth Hotel” (2012), and his electro band Lumi, with Mayaline Hage. More Marc Codsi.
“Incense” and “Seaside Suicide” by Ryan Haidar
Haidar is a brilliant young independent experimental musician. “Incense” and “Seaside Suicide” are two songs from his recently released second E.P., “Volume 2,” which was self-produced. More Ryan Haidar.
“Alep, 2012” by Cosmic Analog Ensemble
“Alep, 2012” is a song from “Le Mirage Rationnel” (2013), one of the many albums by Cosmic Analog Ensemble, a.k.a. Charif Megarbane. This album is composed of wonderful experimental and jazzy songs. Charif Megarbane is also known as “Monumental Details,” whose song “Crumbs” is featured in the soundtrack to “Aswaat in Lebanon”. More Cosmic Analog Ensemble.
“South Adonis” by Jade (Adonis remix)
Jade is a famous Lebanese DJ. He has done a number of remixes of Lebanese artists, such as “Who Killed Bruce Lee.” He often works with Lebanese DJ Tala Mortada, who also did the music video for this song. Adonis is a Lebanese pop rock band that sings in Arabic, and “South Adonis” is from their debut album “Daw L Baladiyyi, released in 2011. They released another album in 2013, “Men Shou Bteshke Beirut.” More Adonis.
“Don’t F With My Cat” by Lumi
This song is from the album “Two Tears in the Water.” Lumi is one of the most famous Lebanese alternative bands, composed of two members, Mayaline Hage and Marc Codsi, and have another song featured in the soundtrack to “Aswaat in Lebanon”. Watch the music video for “Don’t F with my Cat” here. More Lumi.
Although the Nour Festival has ended, opportunities to see these bands live continue – the Wanton Bishops (who were featured on Mixtape #2) are playing three concerts in London from December 1-3. Their first gig is free, more details on all their shows here.
Aymeric Cattenoz was born in Paris, where he studied at the Institute of Political Sciences before focusing on photography and filmmaking. Aymeric is interested in intercultural dialogue between Western countries and the Arab world, and intends that his projects promote mutual understanding. Follow his work here.
Elisabeth Jaquette is a writer, researcher and translator. Her translations from the Arabic have been published in The Book of Gaza (Comma Press 2014), Banipal Magazine and Words Without Borders. She is currently translating The Queue, a novel by Egyptian author Basma Abdel Aziz, which received a 2014 PEN Translates Award and will be published by Melville House. Follow her on twitter at @lissiejaquette.