June 13 # Omar Souleyman + AroarA # Sala Rossa
Talk about combining old and new! Omar Souleyman blends classical Arabic vocalization with Syrian folk and party music. He mixes in Kurdish, Turkish and Iraqi strains for good measure. Then he propels all of it into the 21st century by singing over synthesized keyboards and frenetic percussion. The music is greatly enriched by oud, reeds and a thin-necked lute-like instrument called a baglama saz. The result is an ancient/modern fusion as haunting as it is infectious. Since 1994, Souleyman has released over five hundred cassettes, becoming a sensation in Syria. While Souleyman handles the vocals, his collaborator, Mahmoud Harbi, writes the Ataba, a traditional form of poetry transformed into lyrics. After success in the Middle East, Souleyman is inviting the rest of the world to join in the timeless dance. With the label Sublime Frequencies, Omar Souleyman has almost a position of big star in world music as Konono N°1 or Getatchew Mekurya.
The power-duo known as AroarA met in a trailer one late summer in Montreal. It was a memorable night – he had just been given the gift of a faux-gembri, a north african lute with a goatskin resonator, by local luthier Daddy Mojo. Having no idea how to play, it did not discourage him from attempting to summon spirits down into the shabby surroundings. She was the only one who heard it. They decided to make music. Later, she was given her own 4 string mojo and they started collaborating with a 404 sampler.
Andrew writes and tours with Toronto based Broken Social Scene & Apostle of Hustle. Ariel sings with Land of Kush.
AroarA recently played a show as In The Pines, a tribute to Alice Notleys poetry of the same name.