Local Music Scenes and Globalization: Transnational Platforms in Beirut [1 ed.] 9781135073701, 9780415808132

This book offers the first in-depth study of experimental and popular music scenes in Beirut, looking at musicians worki

331 51 4MB

English Pages 306 Year 2012

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD FILE

Polecaj historie

Local Music Scenes and Globalization: Transnational Platforms in Beirut [1 ed.]
 9781135073701, 9780415808132

Citation preview

Local Music Scenes and Globalization

This book off ffers the fi rst in-depth study of experimental and popular music scenes in Beirut, looking at musicians working towards a new understanding of musical creativity and music culture in a country that is dominated by mass-mediated pop music and propaganda. Burkhalter studies the generation of musicians born at the beginning of the Civil War in the Lebanese capital. These Lebanese rappers, rockers, death metal, jazz, electro-acoustic musicians, and free improvisers choose local and transnational forms to express their connection to the broader musical, cultural, social, and political environment. Burkhalter explores how these musicians organize their own small concerts for “insider” audiences, set up music labels, and network with like-minded musicians in Europe, the US, and the Arab world. Several key tracks are analyzed with methods from ethnomusicology and popular music studies and contextualized through interviews with the musicians. Discussing key references from belly dance culture (1960s), psychedelic rock in Beirut (1970s), the noises of the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990), and transnational Pop-Avant-Gardes and World Music 2.0 networks, this book contributes to the study of localization and globalization processes in music in an increasingly digitalized and transnational world. At the core, this music from Beirut challenges “ethnocentric” perceptions of “locality” in music. It attacks both “Orientalist” readings of the Arab world, the Middle East, and Lebanon and the focus on musical “difference” ff in Euro-American music and culture markets. On theoretical grounds, this music is a small, but passionate attempt to reshape the world into a place where “modernity” is not “Euro-modernity“ or “EuroAmerican modernity,” but where possible new confi figurations of modernity exist next to each other.

Thomas Burkhalter is an ethnomusicologist, music journalist, and cultural producer from Bern, Switzerland.

Routledge Studies in Ethnomusicology

1 Popular Music of Vietnam The Politics of Remembering, the Economics of Forgetting Dale A. Olsen 2 The Local Scenes and Global Culture of Psytrance Edited by Graham St John 3 Local Music Scenes and Globalization Transnational Platforms in Beirut Thomas Burkhalter

Local Music Scenes and Globalization Transnational Platforms in Beirut

Thomas Burkhalter

NEW YORK

LONDON

First published 2013 by Routledge 711 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Simultaneously published in the UK by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2013 Taylor & Francis The right of Thomas Burkhalter to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Burkhalter, Thomas, 1973- author. Local music scenes and globalization : transnational platforms in Beirut / by Thomas Burkhalter. pages cm. — (Routledge studies in ethnomusicology ; 3) Includes bibliographical references, discography, and index. 1. Music and globalization—Lebanon. 2. Music and transnationalism—Lebanon. 3. Popular music—Social aspects— Lebanon—Beirut. 4. Popular music—Political aspects—Lebanon— Beirut. 5. Music—Lebanon—Beirut—20th century—History and criticism. 6. Popular music—Lebanon—Beirut—History and criticism. I. Title. ML3917.L43B87 2012 780.95692'5—dc23 2012033057 ISBN: 978-0-415-80813-2 (hbk) ISBN: 978-0-203-59825-2 (ebk) Typeset in Sabon by IBT Global.

Contents

List of Tables List of Figures Acknowledgments Introduction

ix xi xiii 1

PART I Theory and Methodology— Music Making in a Digitalized World 1

Globalization and Digitalization in Music

11

2

Theoretical Frame

14

3

Methodological Approach

26

PART II Ethnography—Musicians from Beirut Born During the Lebanese Civil War 4

Experimental Music

35

5

Metal Music and Classic Rock

42

6

Urban Music

48

7

Rap

52

8

Transnational Networks (Human Hubs)

59

vi

Contents

9

Music as a Media Product

10 Musicians as Actors

62 74

PART III Analysis—Six Key Tracks from Beirut 11 Zeid Hamdan: “Aranis” (Remixed)

87

12 Garo Gdanian: “Remains of a Bloodbath”

98

13 Mazen Kerbaj: “Blblb Flblb,” “ZRRRT,” “PIIIIIIIIIIII”, “Taga of Daga“

108

14 Raed Yassin: “Civil War Tapes”

115

15 Charbel Haber: “Track 5”

124

16 Rayess Bek: “Schizophrenia”

133

PART IV History—Music and Noise in Lebanon from the Past and Present 17 Ground Setting: The Urbanization and Europeanization of Music in the Arab World

147

18 Modern Music from Cairo—Old Music from Aleppo

150

19 European Music and Christian Hymns in Beirut (1926–1948)

152

20 The Creation of a “Lebanese Music” (1948–1967)

154

21 Nasserism Versus Tourism (1952–1967)

158

22 The Rise of Dissident Culture and Alternative Music (1968–1975)

165

23 Bombs, Protest, Propaganda, and Rock Music from the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990)

172

Contents vii 24 Pan-Arabic Pop and the 2006 War

186

PART V Meaning—Reading Lebanese Music Making from Diff fferent Perspectives 25 Historical Perspectives

195

26 Sociopolitical Perspectives

203

27 Geopolitical Perspectives

217

28 Psychological Perspectives

224

29 Aesthetical Perspectives

230

30 Euro-American Perspectives

238

Conclusion

244

Notes References Discography Weblinks Index

259 269 283 287 293

Tables

11.1 11.2 12.1 16.1

Soap Kills “Aranis” Sheet Music, Soap Kills “Aranis” Weeping Willow, “Remains of a Bloodbath” Rayess Bek, “Schizophrenia”

93 94 104 139

Figures

I.1 4.1 4.2 7.1 8.1 9.1 10.1 10.2 11.1 12.1 13.1 14.1 15.1 16.1 22.1 26.1 26.2 27.1 29.1 C.1

Grendizer Trio plays with 2006 war—concert advertisement. Irtijal Festival poster 2007. Logo Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu, Record Label, 2012. O-Marz, rapper, Beirut, 2011. La Gale, Swiss-Lebanese rapper, 2012. Ziad Nawfal, radio journalist from Beirut, 2011. Street musician in Beirut, 2011. Joelle Khoury, pianist and composer, Beirut, 2011. Zeid Hamdan, Beirut, 2011. Garo Gdanian (right) in concert with Weeping Willow, 2006. Sharif Sehnaoui (left), Mazen Kerbaj (right), live in Düsseldorf, 2010. Raed Yassin, live performance, Beirut, 2011. Charbel Haber, at Irtijal Festival, 2006. Wael Kodeih, aka Rayess Bek, 2009. The Top 5 live at AUB, Beirut, 1963. The Incompetents, CD cover, 2011. The New Government, poster, 2006. Beirut, July 16, 2006. Hip-hop ad in Beirut, 2005. Grendizer Trio plays the Revival of Tarab. Concert advertisement, 2006.

2 36 40 55 60 64 78 82 88 99 109 116 125 134 167 205 209 219 231 249

Acknowledgments

This book is dedicated to the musicians from the alternative music scenes in Beirut. I believe that, in a wider sense, they are part of the Middle Eastern civil society that instigated the Arab Spring, even though Lebanon itself was by and large left out of the Arab Revolutions. These musicians are often derided, termed irrelevant, called Westernized. However, for a long time, they have independently pursued their musical visions. For that, I respect them greatly. The more they work on their music, the more the quality of their artistic and musical positions comes through. I would like to off ffer my thanks to all the musicians: for their openness, for taking their time, and for the trust they have placed in me. They have taught me a lot— and for this, I am very grateful. This book was written in close contact with them. Many read early drafts and commented on them. Thank you very much, Cynthia Zaven, Serge Yared, Akram Rayess, Ziad Nawfal, Sami Asmar, Joelle Khoury, Walid Itayim, Mazen Kerbaj, Sharif Sehnaoui, Raed Yassin, Zeid Hamdan, Rana Eid, Ahmad Kaabour, Zouhair Tourmoche, Cyril Yabroudi, Charbel Haber, Walid Itayim, Jackson Allers, Wael Kodeih, Garo Gdanian, Marthy Coumans, Maher Mardini, Tony Sfeir, Siska, and DJ Lethal Skillz. I would further like to thank Professors Heinzpeter Znoj and Susanne Binas-Preisendörfer as well as Dr. Oliver Seibt and Dr. David-Emil Wickström, who read parts of this book critically. Your input was very important. The following foundations and institutions helped to fi finance the research that went into this book: the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Janggen-Pöhn Foundation, the Paul und Gertrud Hofer-Wild-Foundation. A French merci goes to Franck Mermier and Nicolas Puig from IFPO (Institut Français du Proche-Orient) in Beirut for all their support during my time in Beirut. I would also like to thank Sami Asmar and Prof. Jihad Racy first fi and foremost for believing in this project and for granting me the A. J. Racy Fellowship for Arab Music Studies in 2008. It is a great honor to feel supported by these scholars, who wrote many important articles on music and music making in the Arab world and in Lebanon in particular. I would like to thank the following other people for their generous help with this project: Raymond Ammann, Cláudia Azevedo, Prof. Brigitte

xiv

Acknowledgments

Bachmann-Geiser, Dr. Alenka Barber-Kersovan, Ueli Bernays, Catherine Cattaruzza, Sarah Chaker, René Desalmand, Kay Dickinson, Markus Eichenberger, Hans Ermel, Amanda Garcia, Thomas Gartmann, Christian Gasser, Simon Grab, Werner Hasler, Olivier Horner, Keith Kahn-Harris, Raphael Koupaly, Johannes Ismaiel-Wendt, Kamilya Jubran, Prof. Samir Khalaf, Prof. Ernst Lichtenhahn, Daniel Lis, Prof. Wolfgang Marschall, Wayne Marshall, Rachid Mihand, Nadim Mishlawi, Rabih Mroué, Nat Muller, Reto Oehri, Andreas Otto, Andreas Renck, Martina Rychen, Prof. Eugene Sensenig-Dabbous, Dr. Helena Simonett, Louis Schornoz, Michael Spahr, Yngvar Steinholt, Prof. Annie Tohmé Tabet, Mahmoud Turkmani, Prof. Elena Ungeheuer, Jesse Samuel Wheeler, Zimoun, and Koos Zwaan. I would like to thank my parents and my brother, Ueli, Joke and Martin Burkhalter—for everything—, and Franca and Stefan Trechsel—for their hospitality in off ffering me a refuge for writing. Further, I would like to thank the different ff academic associations that supported me in several ways: the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM), the Arbeitskreis Studium Populärer Musik (ASPM), the Swiss Society for Ethnomusicology (CH-EM), and the Society of Ethnomusicology (SEM). Finally, and most of all, Anna Trechsel’s partnership, love, support, and understanding sustained me during those many years of research, analyzing data, and writing this manuscript. I would like to thank her very much. I will never forget how we left our apartment in Beirut one early morning in the July 2006 war, after a night of bombings and intense sonic booms.

Introduction

Yes, I have a trained ear. I know if someone is lying from the tone of his voice. I learned this from listening to our politicians. (Joelle Khoury, 2006)1

The night before the war between Israel and Hizbullah began in 2006, two friends, a musician and a graphic designer—and me, a Swiss ethnomusicologist—sat in an Italian restaurant in East Beirut. “Tonight, Israel either bombs the airport or the electricity station, or the air force might just fly over the city and produce sonic booms. The sound waves might break your windows; it is best to keep them open,” one of them explained. They made jokes full of black humor and laughed a lot. For a Swiss, inexperienced in anything like war, it was not easy to fall asleep that night. The next morning, two deep booms came long before the wake-up call. The Israeli air force had bombarded Beirut International Airport, BBC World reported. The next night was even worse. Israeli planes produced one sonic boom after another. It sounded like heavy thunder but louder, and each explosion was accompanied by short cracking noises. It felt as if the sky would crash down on me. Immediately I became superstitious. Shall I go out on the balcony to observe what is happening? Defi fi nitely not! Shall I record those sounds? No! Don’t press your luck! A boom, very deep and aggressive, ended the spectacle: The fi first bomb was fi red from a ship into Southern Beirut. The city fell quiet. Birds sang. For me, this looked like the end of my fi field research in Beirut. For the musicians that I had been working with, this was much more than just yet another war. It was an aching return to memories of their childhoods spent during the Lebanese Civil War. While I analyzed their music, often in long discussions with them, they sometimes had mentioned the importance of specific fi “sonic memories” in their work. The Lebanese Civil War endured between 1975 and 1990. These tragic events involved many forces beyond the Lebanese people. Syria’s interest was that Lebanon not be split in two states; it supported and fought with whichever camp was weaker at any specific fi moment. Israel, at fi rst, sought revenge for Palestinian attacks conducted from Lebanese territory; at a later stage, it helped Christian militias in Lebanon fighting the PLO and leftist groups that sided with them. Palestinian refugees had lived in Lebanon

2

Local Music Scenes and Globalization

since 1948; their number increased after 1967 and after the expulsion of the PLO from Jordan in 1970. The various groups around the PLO had different ff sponsors, either Iraq or Syria, and diff fferent goals. Some wanted to protect the Palestinians in Lebanon; some wanted to attack Israel; others hoped for a revolution in Lebanon (Kropf 2007:75–77). Libya, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Arab League, the United Nations, the US, and other states and organizations were also involved, supplying armaments to the different ff militias (Hanf 1990). In 1984, no fewer than 186 warring factions with different backgrounds and ideologies, sponsors, grievances, and visions were engaged in the armed struggle. In attempting to describe the roots of the war, Khalaf noted, “This bewildering plurality of adversaries and shifting targets of hostility has rendered the Lebanese experience all the more gripping and pathological” (2002:240–241). For Lebanese who experienced it, war never ended. First, it is part of their family history and sticks deep in their memories. Second, there was never true reconciliation between the diff fferent parties. The 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah, the street battles around the elections of President Michel Suleiman in 2008, 2 and inner Lebanese tensions around the Civil War in Syria (starting in 2011) seem to prove them right, unfortunately: War can restart at any minute in Lebanon (see Khalaf 2012). To the musicians, the 2006 war came as a big shock. Fear for their families and future plans, anger with the US and Europe for not interfering, (traumatic to nostalgic) memories of their childhood during the Civil War,

Figure I.1 Grendizer Trio plays with 2006 war—concert advertisement (photo: Thomas Burkhalter).

Introduction

3

and many more aspects came together, they told me. To cope at the time, some focused their attention on acoustic phenomena, possibly to distract their minds. “This war sounded diff fferent from the one that I remembered,” Rana Eid (*31976), sound designer for Lebanese films, fi tells me. “The airplanes sounded more mid-range, and less high frequency. This freaked me out completely.” Rana was not capable of locating the airplanes through listening anymore; in her war memories, she had been capable of doing so: “My father told me that it is impossible. The planes that drop bombs fly high up and very slowly. You don’t hear them. The ones that race over the city and fly through the sound barrier do not bomb anything. They are here to scare us.” The apartment of Eid and her husband, Nadim Mishlawi (*1980)—sound engineer and director of the documentary film fi Sector Zero (2011)—was located between the sea and Southern Beirut, the main target. “We heard the departure of missiles from the boat. They flew fl over our house and exploded in Dahyeh,” Mishlawi recalls. “The departure sounds were louder than the arrivals.” Other sounds were new and unexpected: the leaflets fl the Israeli threw down over Beirut. “You hear a very small boom when the packages explode in air. Then you hear those leafl flets fluttering down. You are happy fi rst, because it’s only leafl flets, but then you read them” (Eid). A second new noise was the “zzzzzzz” sound of the observation drones, used by the Israeli army: “It was observing and filming us from above—as if an evil God was watching us.” One fi nal new noise was that of an Israeli phone call: a recorded message, in high quality. A man warned me not to link up with Hizbullah. His voice was deep and dramatic, but he spoke incorrect Arabic. It was very traumatic. This voice intruded my home, the most personal place in my life. (Eid) That the sound of the city changed completely was most intriguing for Nadim: This silence was diffi fficult to tolerate. Normally Beirut is very noisy—it sounds diff fferent than Paris. Now, again, we went from noise to silence; at six o’clock in the morning, between the bombardments, just the birds were singing—otherwise, silence. This was extremely unsettling, felt very out of place, very unstable, and insecure; because sound gives you sense of belonging. The moment the soundscape changes, you feel displaced and lost. Since 2001, I have kept coming to Beirut—not to become a war reporter, but with diff fferent intentions. I was on the search for intense and distinct music, and I felt that Beirut and its music circles off ffered vast creative potential. This potential materialized more and more: Musicians started their own labels and began collaborating with like-minded musicians internationally.

4

Local Music Scenes and Globalization

Increasingly, they are invited to music festivals and arts events in Europe and the US. Some of this music is very contemporary in its core idea and aesthetics, I thought from the beginning. It combines styles and sounds from transnational niche musics with field recordings and media samples from local, regional, and global contexts, and it adds textures generated from digital to electro-acoustic sound processing. Results are fresh and often surprising, and they are becoming more refi fi ned every year. At the core, these music mixtures hold revolutionary meanings. They challenge “ethnocentric” perceptions of “place” and “locality” in music. They attack both “Orientalist” readings of the Arab world, the Middle East, and Lebanon and the focus on musical “difference” ff in Euro-American music and culture markets. On theoretical grounds, this music suggests reconfi figurations of “modernity.” It is a small, but passionate attempt to reshape the world into a place where “modernity” is not “Euro-modernity“ or “Euro-American modernity,” but where possible new confi figurations of modernity exist next to each other (see Grossberg 2010). Noises of war appear at the beginning of this book deliberately to show that these musicians’ revolutionary positions are fragile. It is a first fi hint at the fact that my refl flections around new, multisited modernities might remain theory. My fieldwork in Beirut showed in tragic ways that Lebanese musicians are negotiating on nearly a daily basis between focusing on creating new musical positions, actively working toward a new Lebanon, and fighting the urge to leave their country. Life plans in Lebanon still are far less predictable and stable than in Europe today, and creating a career as musician and artist is far from promising. I see my main task as an ethnographer and ethnomusicologist to be the responsibility of showing these musicians’ visions, dreams, strategies, and struggles in as many shades as possible. I write this book with three main motivations. First, my aim is to discuss the music and artistic strategies of these musicians in detail and in doing so to give credit to their eff fforts. To my knowledge, there is no book published yet about rock, rap, free improvised, electronic, or metal music in Beirut—except the wonderful photo essay book Untitled Tracks: On Alternative Music in Beirut (Traboulsi, Nawfal, and Saadawi 2010). I decided to include many musicians’ and groups’ names (including weblinks and a discography), despite the risk that this might not always be most appealing for readers. Future scholars should be able to use detailed ethnographic data for their research and analysis of what has become of these musicians and their ideas, visions, and music. In my own research, I was heavily dependent on time-witnesses. There was almost no documentation of rock music in Lebanon in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and the 2000s—even though big scenes of musicians were and are active. I managed to meet some of the active musicians of the 1960s and 1970s (e.g., Raymond Azoury, from the rock band The Sea-ders). They helped me reconstruct this past bit by bit. What I am going to refer to as “starting points for alternative music in Beirut” still remains an underresearched and open field. fi

Introduction

5

My second aim with this case study is to discuss how digitalization and globalization changes music making today. I am especially interested in how the new “democratic” means of production and distribution manage to change power relations between musicians and markets. Do an increased number of musical positions reach listeners in more places than ever? Do new “successful” positions help reconfi figure how we understand music—and even how we understand the world? Discussing these possible changes with musicians from Beirut gives my approach an activist twist, no doubt. In line with Stuart Hall and Lawrence Grossberg—if also on a much less experienced and signifi ficant level—I would thus take the position of a “political intellectual” (Grossberg 2010). I intend to offer ff examples for debates on how musicians from the “non-Western” world interact with music and cultural markets worldwide. Do they become confronted with stereotypical ideas, unrealistic demands, and old “North–South” power relations—especially when trying to perform in Euro-American markets? Besides my analysis of music, video clips, lyrics, and cover art from Beirut, I am going to broaden the field fi and make links to music and musicians in Africa, Asia, and Latin America as well. I feel that they off ffer similar musical positions and fight similar battles. I look at these examples from a Euro-American main perspective, and I discuss whether these Middle Eastern to Latin American musics can be read as World Music 2.0, an updated version of World Music (e.g., Taylor 1997) that keeps focus on cultural and musical “difference,” ff or if these musicians propose new vanguard positions and thus become new, multisited avantgardes. In the best case, discussions in this book—and in others—help to change old conceptions of “cultures” within the creative industries. As Grossberg says: “I do believe that ideas matter—by what we say and do as intellectuals—by the stories we tell, because bad stories make bad politics” (2010:290). Third, I decided to focus on musicians that are often criticized—for example, from local and international journalists, concert organizers, funders—for being “Westernized.” The idea is to show that this criticism is, in fact, absurd. Joelle Khoury (*1963) refers to her “heaviest psychological load” as a composer and pianist in Lebanon: A true composition is the fruit of a unique idea, developed into a concept, based in what the composer has heard, aiming at expressing an individual point of the view, a certain personality. Therefore it is neither “western” nor “oriental”, taking into account the fact that we have all heard numerous styles of music. This issue is the heaviest psychological load the modern Arab artist has to face. Do we succumb to voyeurism and accept to become a “vitrine” to the West? Do we play it safe and stagnate into repetitions of the same by sticking to the old? The problem is we need the West since they are the main funders of our works. It is very tricky to remain true to oneself and yet please.4

6

Local Music Scenes and Globalization

In the process of writing, my focus on rap, rock, metal, and free improvised music became even stronger. I felt that I had to leave various musicians from fields of Arabic singing, Christian Syriac hymns, and maqam-based music (MBM) aside (to a great extent) in order to tell this story. I do, however, feel the urge to thank these musicians for off ffering me a lot of their time when explaining to me their music, ideas, and struggles. Their positions and ideas found their way into this book. I hope they can see and appreciate this.

THE CONTENTS Overall, this book observes closely how musicians from Beirut position themselves strategically between local and transnational reception platforms, and it shows supposed contradictions between these positions. The book is split into five main parts. Parts II and III focus on production and distribution mainly, and Part V on reception. Part IV off ffers historical backgrounds. Part I—“Theory and Methodology—Music Making in a Digitalized World”—off ffers a first overview on the eff ffects of globalization and digitalization processes for musicians in the Arab world, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The part highlights main theoretical approaches, defines fi theoretical terms, and explains the experimental methodological set-up I work with. In Part II—“Ethnography—Musicians from Beirut Born during the Lebanese Civil War”—I describe the alternative music circles in detail. The focus lies on “experimental music,” “urban music,” “rap,” and “metal and classic rock.” The part includes discussions of music, video clips, lyrics, and cover art first. fi It presents musicians and the local to international cultural actors with whom these musicians interact and work—updates are provided via http://beirut.norient.com. The part ends with descriptions and reflecfl tions of the local surroundings of these musicians: It looks at their social backgrounds and histories of migrations, education, and gender issues. Part III—“Analysis—Six Key Tracks from Beirut”—looks at six key musicians and their music closely. By analyzing the trumpet playing of Mazen Kerbaj, it discusses links between free improvised music and sonic memories from the Lebanese Civil War. The discussion of Raed Yassin’s sound collage “Civil War Tapes” observes strategies to perform and manipulate propaganda music, politician speeches, and 1980s pop music. Zeid Hamdan’s track “Aranis” serves as an example of how musicians in Lebanon look both ways: back to the history of protest singing in Lebanon and outwards to recent trends in transnational niche genres. “Remains of a Bloodbath” shows how death metal musician Garo Gdanian fights with traumatic memories and anger and uses his music to try to fi nd paths forward and release stress. Punk and rock singer and guitarist Charbel Haber from the band Scrambled Eggs discusses with “Track 5” his fascination for coincidence and chaos and argues that he is not at all a “revolutionary”

Introduction

7

musician. Finally, rapper Rayess Bek shows in “Schizophrenia” how he positions himself between Paris and Beirut, rap music, the arts, and nongovernmental organization (NGO) work. Part IV—“History—Music and Noise in Lebanon from the Past and Present”—off ffers a history of Beirut through the ear. It starts at the beginnings of the twentieth century, and it observes music and policies that influfl ence today’s musicians in manifold, positive, and negative ways. The part discusses the Europeanization of Arabic music, the creation of a Lebanese music (with Fairuz and the Rahbani brothers as the main composers and singers), transnational belly dance and holiday music from the 1950s and 1960s, leftist protest music from 1967 onwards, and Lebanese rock bands of the 1960 and 1970s. Within the Lebanese Civil War, I discuss—with time-witnesses—major and minor music and sonic phenomena: again, rock music and protest music, but also the noises and sounds of bombs, radio, and propaganda music. In the 1990s, when Saudi-owned satellite media emerged, pan-Arabic pop music and video clips became omnipresent. The part ends with the renewed propaganda music of the 2006 war. Part V—“Meaning—Reading Lebanese Music Making from Differff ent Perspectives”—analyzes music and the key musicians from historical, sociopolitical, geopolitical, psychological, aesthetical, and Euro-American perspectives. The part bundles all data collected in Parts II to IV. The conclusion inserts examples from musicians and music in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and leads back to one of the main questions of this book: To what extent do these musicians from Beirut challenge concepts of “Euromodernity” and “Euro-American modernity”? To what extent do they suggest possible new multisited modernities?

Part I

Theory and Methodology Music Making in a Digitalized World

1

Globalization and Digitalization in Music

The accelerated processes of globalization and digitalization have revolutionized music making on many levels. Austrian music sociologists Kurt Blaukopf (1996) and Alfred Smudits (2002) use the term media-morphoses to describe in detail major changes from the fi rst recordings on cylinder phonographs to the advent of cassettes and CDs to the complete digitalization of musical production from the 1980s onwards. The digital mediamorphosis alone continually brings revolutionary changes. Throughout the world, musicians fi nd new ways to produce music at low cost and to promote it globally. Chris Anderson (2006:57–57) emphasizes the fact that the universe of musical content is growing faster than ever. He lists three main forces that have led to this situation: the democratization of the tools of production (new and cheaper computer hardware and software); the democratization of the tools of distribution (e.g., CD-Baby); and new mediators that connect supply and demand (e.g., Weblogs, Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify). Anderson describes today’s music market as a confusing mosaic of a million minimarkets and microstars: Increasingly, the mass market is turning into a mass of niches. The geographical location of a musician, label, or distributor becomes a minor factor, it seems. Thomas Friedman (2005), among many others, highlights the newfound power for individuals to collaborate and compete globally. It is some of these individuals, musicians from Beirut in this case, that this book is about.

SAMPLE: BEIRUT—AFRICA, ASIA, AND LATIN AMERICA Musicians from Beijing to Tijuana, from Istanbul to Johannesburg, mix and manipulate local and global sounds and ideas within their music. They network with artists and multipliers (e.g., curators, producers, journalist, and scholars) worldwide and experiment with new ways of producing, distributing, and selling music. This recent music from Africa, Asia, and Latin America is progressively reaching Euro-American reception platforms and is being discussed by ethnomusicologists, popular music scholars, journalists, and bloggers with increased interest. Style-wise, the sample is broad:

12

Local Music Scenes and Globalization

commercially successful styles of pop music like reggaeton (Marshall, Rivera, and Hernandez 2009) and kwaito (Steingo 2005; Swartz 2008), and electronic music styles like kuduro (Alisch and Siegert 2011), nortec (Madrid 2008), baile funk (Stöcker 2009; Lanz et al. 2008), shangaan electro, or cumbia electronica form the popular end of the spectrum. The experimental end offers ff African, Asian, and Latin American musique concrète, free improvisation, noise music, and sound art (e.g., Wallach 2008). In the Arab world, beyond Beirut, we fi nd a large number of upcoming musicians. On CDs (e.g., from the label 100copies) and platforms like SoundCloud, we fi nd them experimenting with the noises of Cairo and electronic music (e.g., Mahmoud Refat, Ramsi Lehner, Adham Hafez, Hassan Khan, Kareem Lotfy, and Omar Raafat). Using Casio PT minikeyboards, Kareem Lotfy and Omar Raafat mix noise with distorted, psychedelic-sounding Egyptian melodies. Mohammed Ragab—alias Machine Eat Man—works with analogue synthesizers. He defines fi his mixture of Arabic voice, flute samples, drums, psychedelic synthesizer movements, and electronics as “Egyptronica.” Further, musicians range from pioneers like Halim El-Dabh to composers in Syria, rappers in Palestine, and metal musicians in Egypt. The list includes Nassim Maalouf with his “quartertone trumpet” and many other contemporary musicians (see Burkhalter, Dickinson, and Harbert 2013). In addition, there are musicians of Arab origin in Europe and the US who frequently network with musicians in the Arab world. Mahmoud Turkmani, a Lebanese musician and composer living in Switzerland, experiments with Egyptian takhtt ensembles, video art, and film. In his piece Ya Sharr Moutt (Son of a Bitch), he harshly criticizes both the Europeanization of Arabic music and the extreme commercialism of Lebanese postwar mainstream culture. The hope of many musicians, NGOs, and other actors in the Middle East is that his and other musicians’ struggles for more representation (and against censorship and physical aggression) will celebrate more successes after the Arab Spring of 2011 and 2012. Despite the many differences ff between these musical styles, some commonalities can be clearly identified. fi In this book, I argue that these musicians off ffer alternative musical positions and try to fight old “ethnocentric” Euro-American perceptions of their home countries fi in, for example, challenging and mixing up ideas about “culture,” “place,” “locality,” “tradition,” and/or “authenticity” in music. In Europe and the US not many years ago, small niche audiences listened exclusively to music from the Arab world, Africa, Asia, or Latin America. Specialists were primarily interested in Arabic maqam music and small Arab takhtt ensembles or sufi singers, whereas others were drawn to the famous Arabic singers Umm Kulthum, Asmahan, or Fairuz and Algerian or FrancoAlgerian raï by Khaled or Cheb Mami (Schade-Poulsen 1999), or they listened to what is often referred to as oriental jazz, crossover, or world fusion. The latter include musicians like Rabih Abou Khalil, Anouar Brahem, and Dhafer Youssef, among others. This variety of music was (and is) often

Globalization and Digitalization in Music

13

categorized as “world music” by record industries and media. British record producers invented it as a marketing label in the 1980s (e.g., Erlmann 1995, Taylor 1997, Mitchell 1996, Broughton 2006, Binas-Preisendörfer 2010), and the goal was to diversify the Euro-American market in order to sell more music. Consequently, to this day, “world music” is based on musical differff ence and otherness at its core. Due to this focus, the world music catalogue for the Arab world contains the music mentioned earlier, but few of the current rock, punk, metal, and electronic music, or electro-acoustic experiments and musique concrète, despite the fact that this very music has been produced not only in Beirut, but also in other Middle Eastern, African, Asian, and Latin American cities for many years. After a long period of nonrepresentation, musicians of these genres have now started to perform on various Euro-American reception platforms—with the help, support, and initiative of mostly small European and US-based producers and labels (some of them from within the world music networks). Many new supporters of this emerging music ignored music from Africa, Asia, and Latin America for a long time—mainly because it fell into the category “world music.” World music to them sounded “too cleanly produced,” “too much of a middle-class taste,” “too boring,” or “too cliché” (interviews and discussions by author 1994–2012). Today, many authors of blogs, disc jockeys, and curators—the multipliers of the present—are considering a multitude of new and “trendy” terms to categorize these upcoming styles, for example, “global ghettotech” (Marshall 2007),1 “shanty house theory,”2 “worldtronica,” or “ghettopop.” In some of my articles I use the term “World Music 2.0” (Burkhalter 2010)—and I do so for various reasons. Many people—including me—hope that these latest tracks, songs, sound montages, and noises from the Arab world, Asia, Africa, and Latin America contain revolutionary meanings: That the old model of center and periphery is less valid than it ever was; that we are living in a world of multiple, interwoven modernities (Eisenstadt 2000). In other words, modernity emerges polycentrically through exchanges between the “global North” and the “global South” (Kolland 2010). We hope that these musics will support claims by social and cultural scientists that declare the one-sided theories of modernization to be unsound (Randeria and Eckert 2009). Whereas terms like “modernity,” “global North,” and “global South” are debated upon and deconstructed in academics, they are still in use in cultural networks and markets. The discussion around discrepancies between academic theory and daily practice is one of the tensions that run like a thread through this book.

2

Theoretical Frame

Ethnomusicology, popular music studies, and musicology find fi it hard to research the rapid developments in these and similar musics and music circles. Tagg and Clarida (2003) argue that the various academic disciplines that research music cannot keep pace with rapid technological shifts. Digital revolutions and the new possibilities of producing and distributing music demand new methodological and theoretical approaches. One goal of this book is to put forward a methodological approach that analyzes music and music making from miscellaneous perspectives. The approach is inductive, built on my many years of participant observation in music and cultural markets. Overall, I work with a mix of theories from ethnomusicology, pop and media studies, culture studies, and social anthropology.

FROM MUSIC MAKING TO TRANSNATIONAL MEDIA PERFORMANCES Media channels are crucial in all aspects of music making. They regulate contact and access to other musicians, organizers, funders, and fans. Musicians in Beirut receive information on the latest trends in their specific fi niche music genres faster than ever before. Whereas in the 1990s metal albums were imported through the port of Kaslik, or brought in by friends or family members by plane, today’s musicians can listen to their favorite music from abroad via the Internet. Their knowledge about music and their production and distribution strategies show clearly how closely music making is connected through media worldwide. That Lebanon still has one of the slowest Internet speed rates worldwide does not derogate this fact. Many of the Beiruti musicians download all possible tracks from their favorite sites the moment they step into a zone with fast wireless Internet access abroad—I observed this many times. Their musics become media products, fixed fi on CD, LP, or cassette, or as media fi les (e.g., WAV, MP3). These media products include cover images (with pictures, fonts, and graphic design), titles, logos, and descriptions. Further, video clips, remixes, posters, websites, promotion pictures, and

Theoretical Frame

15

interviews appear on a diversity of old and new media ranging from newspapers and magazines to blogs, SoundCloud, and YouTube. They are not side products of the music; rather, they intensify its aesthetical approach and vision (in the best cases), and they help promote both music and musician. Similar to concert performances and DJ sets in front of audiences, these media products can be defi fi ned as transnational media performances. These performances include all elements of Christofer Jost’s definition fi of media as: carriers and transmitters of data (and information); as technical means of communication; as means to create standing; as technical dispositions; and as independent “outdiff fferentiated” systems of function (2011:7). Furthermore, they fit fi Rolf Grossmann’s defi fi nition of musicians, which focuses not on traditional instruments, but on the laptop as an increasingly important device for many (if not all) tasks. Grossmann highlights the changes laptop culture brought to music: “It is a new mode of musicianship: fusing self-research, composition, innovation, performance and distribution in a single technological device connected to digital networks” (2008:9). Many of the musicians in this book combine multiple activities; they are producers, interpreters, activists, historians, salesmen, and networkers—and many of them own an up-to-date laptop, either PC or Mac. I use the term platform whenever I speak of where these media products appear: on a local stage in Beirut, on an international stage in London, on a media platform like SoundCloud or YouTube, or in a computer game. Possibilities are huge—certainly new platforms open up at the moment of writing. With their media products, musicians perform on several of these platforms simultaneously. They trim their media products to fi fit—or they challenge consumption on these platforms. Similar to concert performances, where musicians reflect fl on eff ffective set lists or announcements, they perform strategically (and more and less knowledgeably) on various local and transnational platforms. It is the musicians’ strategic use of these platforms that I intend to research. Plus I try to show the interrelation between the production of media products and the reception on these possible platforms. German media and pop scholar Christoph Jacke (2009:144) splits pop music into four main domains: production, distribution, reception, and further processing. This book is divided along these lines: Parts II and III deal primarily with production and distribution, whereas Part V focuses on reception and further processing. The domain production includes motives of musicians and producers. It looks at the production processes and at the aesthetics of production. It does further highlight economical aspects. The domain distribution observes the role of public relations (PR), advertising, and the impact of media channels (e.g., TV channels, radio stations, blogs). It looks at distribution processes and at aesthetics of distribution. The domain reception looks at the various groups of recipients and their motives and reception aesthetics. The domain “further processing” observes all the further, often nonmusical, appearances of a specifi fic media product.

16 Local Music Scenes and Globalization I work with a broad defi fi nition of music that—besides melody, rhythm, and pitch—includes noise(s), the sonic, and sound. The approach is linked to sound studies, which assume that the sound characteristics of a track lead into the middle of music making as a process of action, communication, and meaning (see Binas 2008:11). In sound, we hear the contradictory aesthetical, social, and economical interests and possibilities of the actors involved with the production. By working on sound, we come to the crossroads between the cultural, the social, and the aesthetical.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS: MULTISITED AVANTGARDES OR WORLD MUSIC 2.0? From my experience, interview data collected with musicians and the analysis of their media products often reveal diff fferent results. It is this gap between empirical data and the actual analysis of the media products that needs to be fi lled. My main research questions keep the media products of these musicians from Beirut at the center of interest: • Which musical and nonmusical spheres of influence fl aff ffect the music making of these musicians from Beirut? • How do these spheres of influence fl aff ffect them: Are they binding and inspiring, or do they off ffer positioning options or playing opportunities? • How do these interactions between these various spheres of influence fl become inscribed in their media products? Approaching music in this way shows that many actors with different ff policies, strategies, and knowledge are involved in the process of music making (Jacke 2009:144). The paramount question is: Are these musicians and media products able and allowed to create vanguard musical positions? Do they help cocreate, push, and promote concepts of “multisited modernities”? These emerge polycentrically and challenge old readings of modernity as “Euro-modernity” and “Euro-American modernity” (Grossberg 2010). Thus, do these media products in fact hold revolutionary meanings? I discuss these paramount questions from a Euro-American perspective. Yet, they are important for the musicians in Beirut, too—as I experienced during fieldwork. fi These musicians work with similar musical material, aesthetical approaches, and techniques as musicians in Europe and the US. Many musicians highlight musical similarities, and focusing on musical differences ff is far less evident. Their aim is to compete internationally. They search for recognition within their transnational niche networks and desire to be “trendy,” “contemporary,” “hip,” or create “Zeitgeist.” Accordingly, they want to be analyzed and even criticized through Euro-American

Theoretical Frame

17

perspectives as well. Trumpet player Mazen Kerbaj confirmed fi this several times, in various interviews. He aspires to reach international recognition; to be the best free trumpet player in Beirut is not enough: To be able to compete internationally is what is most important to me. Not because it is better outside, but because abroad I can play in front of an audience that has experienced free improvised music for many years. To play abroad is the real test! I hate it when Lebanese are so overconfi fident. Often they are very happy and proud too early. Once, a Lebanese friend and me went to see a Lebanese saxophone player. After the concert, I was very angry; it was the worst saxophone player I had ever heard. My friend answered, “Yes, but for a Lebanese, he was good.” This is what I hate; this makes me almost vomit. It’s like admitting that we Lebanese are just a bunch of shits. I really hope this will change—and this is one of the reasons we want to compete internationally and prove ourselves. Consequently, I measure these musicians between two overall concepts and traditions: One is “avant-garde” that I here call multisited avant-garde to imply that it is not Euro-American exclusively. The other is “World Music 2.0.” Whenever using the term “multisited avant-garde” in the analysis, I argue that these musicians create new vanguard positions. When using “World Music 2.0,” I imply that they are still being pushed to fulfill fi expectations and adapt to the worldview of Euro-American producers and audiences—and thus off ffer “World Music 2.0,” simply an updated version of the limiting “world music” (1.0).

A BROAD CONCEPTION OF AVANT-GARDE In current European music discussions, the term “avant-garde” is often equated with “new music”—with composers like Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, or John Cage. I use “avant-garde” in a broader conception, based on defi fi nitions by Hegarty (2009), Jauk (2009), and Van der Berg and Fähnders (2009). Accordingly, artists of the avant-garde are those who seek a break with dominant musical canons. Avant-garde in this broad conception includes Pop-Avant-Garde: art-pop musicians like John Lennon or Pete Townsend, who graduated from art schools rather than conservatories (Jauk 2009:73); “nonacademic,” self-taught pop musicians—for example, those in rock ‘n’ roll, psychedelic rock, or punk, especially in their fi rst experimental states; and what is sometimes referred to as “Black Sound,” a continuum from blues, reggae, calypso, hip-hop, house, dubstep, grime, UK funky, and much more. In Black Sound—White Cube, Dieter Lesage and Ina Wudtke (2010) claim that “Black Sound” remained—and still remains—largely unconsidered in the avant-garde context. Musicians

18 Local Music Scenes and Globalization from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Beirut help to change this: They perform not only in clubs and concert halls, but also in art exhibitions and events, where their work is more easily recognized as avant-garde. Lebanese computer musician Tarek Atoui—to name one example—constantly negotiates and switches between the worlds of arts, theater, live music, and club culture. He performs well-paid events in arts biennales and poorly paid shows in small music clubs. My decision to use the “Euro-American” and “military” term “avantgarde”—albeit a bit provocatively—underlines that I do not use a “relativist” approach toward music in Beirut. I challenge what scholars often refer to as “emic” and “etic” perspectives. “Emic” and “etic” are less than ever linked to place. A free improviser from Berlin has an “emic” understanding of a free improviser in Beirut, whereas to a Lebanese neighbor his improvisations and sound textures might not sound like music at all. The neighbor, however, might understand motivations and struggles of the Beiruti improviser of which the musician from Berlin is unaware. Consequently, in this book, I analyze music from diff fferent perspectives— in Parts III and V. For the aesthetical perspective, I drew inspiration from reception texts by Tagg and Clarida (2003) and Steinholt (2005) and sent key tracks to expert listeners of specifi fic music genres in Europe, the US, and the Arab world. I further include international reviews of their media products. I also discuss, analyze, and criticize their media products from my own point of view. The goal is to see how their music is being discussed and judged within specialized music circles. Other perspectives are closer to the “Lebanese neighbor” mentioned in the preceding: for example, it looks for the sociopolitical role and value of these musicians and media products within Lebanon. The purpose is to expose as many perspectives, references, and attributions of meaning as possible and to highlight discrepancies in representation strategies of these musicians.

TRANSNATIONAL NETWORKS AND HUBS My analysis of the transnational media performances from Beiruti musicians is in line with research approaches by Jocelyne Guilbault, Nadia Kiwan, and Ulrike Meinhof. Guilbault (1993) describes the music genre “Zouk” and its local, regional, and international networks. Through her approach, she shows clearly how Zouk generates a great number of meanings for different ff people: “Contradictions and diverging opinions are the norm,” she writes (1993:xix). In their book Cultural Globalization and Music: African Artists in Transnational Networks, Kiwan and Meinhof (2011) work similarly. They analyze “personal narratives” and “practices” of African and European musicians, plus their interactions and interrelations (1). The authors look at the actors who constitute these musicians’ networks and find them “in the wider artistic, cultural and civil society milieus of global and globalizing societies”

Theoretical Frame

19

(ibid.). The set-up is similar to Beirut, as I am going to show. Many of the involved actors are from Europe and the US: NGOs, concert organizers, arts curators, multipliers as bloggers and journalists, and embassies. Kiwan and Meinhof make an important claim: We suggest that artists who create or enter such networks follow a diff fferent logic of translocal and transnational links than is normally associated with diaspora and migration research on music. Thus we are widening the scope from “bi-focal”, ethnically and spatially defined fi communities in sending and originating countries to the more complex and fluid fl flows and networking of individuals. (Ibid.) Kiwan and Meinhof defi fi ne the term “hubs” according to the way they support transnational flows: human hubs, spatial hubs, institutional hubs, and accidental hubs (3): • Human hubs and their social networks “cross over and link very different geographic spaces” as well as “diff fferent types of special spaces in a variety of cultural, institutional, professional and other kinds of contexts” (4). • Spatial hubs refer to the important role of capital and metropolitan cities in the North (such as Paris and London) as key nodes for migration flows and migration cultures. According to Kiwan, the cities in the South play similar roles for both the translocal movements of artists within their nations and the transnational multidirectional movements between North and South. They off ffer access to reception platforms, and in these cities, you fi find a concentration of human and institutional hubs (5). • Institutional hubs include particular key institutions and organizations that help organize or are themselves integrated into artists’ networks. They link human and spatial hubs (6). Here we find fi the cultural institutions and the NGOs of the North. Kiwan and Meinhof further mention “expatriate associations” in the North. They support “their artists” in various ways. Third, they mention the “almost unresearched interconnection between artists and civil society movements devoted primarily to developmental causes of aid but which in some important instances interact with artists” (6). These institutional hubs are crucial for the musicians in Beirut, too. • Accidental hubs involve, for example, the researcher, as Kiwan and Meinhof state: “We were building up the very network structures that we are researching. ( . . . ) In working with professional or aspiring artists, the chance of our turning into accidental hubs is arguably even stronger than in the anthropology of everyday practices” (7). This was exactly the case with my research in Beirut. I became involved with these musicians on many levels.

20 Local Music Scenes and Globalization Kiwan and Meinhof link their research of musicians of Malagasy and North Africa to Transcultural Capital Theory—a very fruitful approach, even though I am not going to use it in detail in this book. They use the term “transcultural capital” to define fi who has which chances in the various networks. Transcultural Capital Theory shows the “highly integrated interaction of diff fferent types of capital in the lives of transnational artists” (Kiwan and Meinhof 2011:8). This theory works along the “capital” theory of Pierre Bourdieu (1987), who distinguished the main categories of economical, cultural, social, and symbolic capital. Cultural, social, and symbolic capital contain, for example, artistic or intellectual knowledge and skills, prestige, and existing social networks—all powerful resources for those who posses them. Transcultural Capital Theory offers ff not an essentializing concept through which artists are frozen into their ethnic niches, “but rather a strategic one, which enables us to describe the ways in which artists use the valuable resources acquired in their countries and cultures of origin to underwrite and develop their art and d at the same time underwrite and support their commercial appeal to diff fferent publics” (ibid.:9). This is very clearly what I am going to show in the case of Lebanese musicians. Phenomenology and refl flexive ethnography off ffer helpful tools for an analysis of transnational media performances in transnational networks. Phenomenology describes experiences and actions from the fi rst-person point of view (Berger 1966). We not only analyze the structures of networks, but we also analyze how these structures infl fluence media products. Conscious, intentional actions of an actor are put into a specific fi habitat or lifeworld, an environment the actor acts in. This environment off ffers a specifi fic set of possibilities. Through repeated actions, the actor learns to know and maybe challenge the enabling conditions of his environment and thus gains experience: All interpretation of this world is based upon a stock of previous experiences of it, our own experiences and those handed down to us by our parents and teachers, which in the form of “knowledge at hand” function as a scheme of reference. (Schütz 1975:72) Overall, the phenomenological approach enables us to put forward farranging theses without ignoring the complexity, inconsistency, and process-oriented nature of human (and musicians’) behavior and strategies. Informants move beyond their “historic role as cultural actors playing out a script to being fully engaged cultural participants actively engaged in their experiences” (Barz and Cooley 2008:19). This kind of research implements demands by prominent social and cultural scientists. Bourdieu and Wacquant state in Refl fl exive Anthropologie (1996) that it is neither the individual nor the collective that social sciences should focus on, but the various interrelations between the two. In order to catch this in-between world, Appadurai (1998, 2003) and other scientists

Theoretical Frame

21

(Beck, Giddens, and Lash 1996; Beck 2002; Giddens 1995; Hall 2008, 2007, 1996) focus on beliefs, ideas, refl flections, and visions of human beings. It is in these thoughts and ideas where important theoretical concepts like identity find fi their living and often contradictory expressions. Appadurai calls for a “new ethnography” that is capable of evaluating the role of imagination in today’s lives and is thus able to understand the variety of changes we go through on our planet (1998:24). He (and others) suggest the introduction of films, theater plays, novels, travelogues, and other cultural expressions and forms of art into the ethnographical research—not only as side elements, but as its sources (ibid.:37). Consequently, I would argue that the analysis of music and the discourses around music offer ff us detailed and nuanced insights to the socioeconomic conditions and structures in which musicians are living and acting. Hence, a systematic, empirical ethnomusicological research offers ff a vital contribution to the debates on worldwide processes of globalization and localization.

A REFLEXIVE CONCEPT OF CULTURE Media products and transnational media performances from Beirut encompass musical genres of multiple nations and continents; are mixed and transmitted by modern technologies; and are promoted and supported by human, spatial, institutional, and accidental hubs. These complex interrelations between production, distribution, reception, and further processing ask for a fundamentally refl flexive concept of culture— one which is process- and dynamic-oriented, media sensitive, broad, and as nonnormative as possible. It is not absolutely necessary to link discussions of this book to concepts of “culture” from an academic point of view. In daily discussions with producers, labels, journalists, funders, and fans, however, musicians are often confronted with “old” concepts of “culture” that have little place in academics anymore. Still, they fl flourish in daily life and in categories and promotion strategies on cultural markets. Such discussions appear strongly when music travels far distances— when Middle Eastern, African, Asian, or Latin American music reaches Euro-American reception platforms. As this book addresses a nonacademic readership, too, some refl flections might be useful. Cliff fford Geertz off ffered a refl flexive concept of culture many years ago. He defi fi ned culture as a system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which men communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and attitudes toward life (1987:7–43). This concept of culture does not at all end at national borders. I myself am part of many cultures: I am Swiss and Dutch by passport. I share a great amount of knowledge (that I received through socialization and education), language, conventions, and convictions with my fellow Swiss citizens. I see the world from a specifi fic position and perspective; I anticipate how others from my

22

Local Music Scenes and Globalization

“culture” will react to specifi fic phenomena—for example, noise pollution, work ethics, social invitations, and much more. In my Dutch “culture,” I primarily share experiences with my grandparents, the Dutch language (at least a bit), and some nostalgic childhood memories of specific fi food, but almost nothing of present-day Netherlands. I am further an academic, the third “culture” I feel part of: I again share with colleagues a certain amount of knowledge (that I received through my studies, reading, and conferences), language, conventions, convictions, and worldviews. Then, I work as a cultural producer, I played saxophone, and today I work with computer software to edit and manipulate music and sound; as such, I am part of specifi fic music circles, my fourth “culture.” Again, I share specifi fic knowledge, language, conventions, and convictions with other members of this “culture.” In addition, there are many other “cultures” that are defined fi and created by the specifi fic knowledge, language, conventions, and convictions shared by the members. This includes discussions and arguments around knowledge, language, conventions, and convictions. It is these discussions that lead to change, usually slowly but at times quickly. When working with Lebanese musicians, I share parts of their “music culture” knowledge but nothing of their knowledge of being Lebanese citizens. The discussions within these “music cultures” are very specifi fic: ranging from flow, swing, and sound textures to insider discussions around key references in the specifi fic genre, origins, criteria for production qualities, and ways of editing, arranging, mixing, and manipulating material. In this book, I hear and judge their music through this “music culture” knowledge; this allows me, a scholar from Europe, to use an insider approach to Beiruti music. For the musicians, this “music culture” however is just the starting point. From this position, they hope to be heard and recognized outside their “cultures” as well: by parents and peers, ethnomusicologists, music journalists, cultural funders, and organizers. Their music might have a specific fi translation potential. This means that, outside of the “music-specific” fi discussion (see the preceding), it speaks to greater audiences—or to different ff niche audiences. The musicians in question could be good entertainers, produce on-the-edge video clips or other media products that draw attention, or they may be great company or good at writing project proposals. The translation potential of music and the translation skills of musicians become crucial—they are what Meinhof and Kiwan call “transcultural capital.” To translate is, however, delicate: The musicians can become criticized as “sellouts,” to name one example. In London, many of the musicians of Indian and Pakistani origin that started to sell their music in the “white” EuroAmerican market were declared “coconuts” by their peers—brown on the outside, white on the inside (Burkhalter 2000). Working on diff fferent reception platforms—and thus translating between different ff “cultures” (within the same country or between countries)—is always a complex and surprising matter. Again, the musician can be criticized heavily—or he has to play

Theoretical Frame

23

it smart on these diff fferent platforms. I became European tour manager for the British-Asian bhangra band DCS from Birmingham for a while. One day, the organizers of a big Swiss festival, OpenAir St. Gallen, called me and wanted to book DCS—alongside bands like Massive Attack. I called Shin, the leader of DCS, to tell him the great news. Shin consulted his diary, saw that DCS was booked to perform at a local wedding on the same day, and said no to St. Gallen. Shin was wise, I thought: DCS plays around one hundred weddings a year, so that is what pays their rent. The moment the word got out that DCS prefers to play in Switzerland, he could be declared arrogant or snobbish, and it could destroy his key market.

THE IMPACT OF THE RESEARCHER My role as a researcher is not to be underestimated—on several levels. Whenever I talk with musicians about their production and strategies, they talk in retrospective. I ask how they started their careers, how this led to that, how they gained bigger audiences, or how they produced this track. They would always tell me their “stories” in ways that I understand and that make sense to a potential readership. Often chaotic experiences (when working on a career night and day) gain logic and coherence in retrospective—we know this. For example, when looking back on our lives, we might see how this decision led to that, and how that led to another, whereas at the time a lot happened through coincidence and luck. Similar issues occur when discussing future plans and dreams: Living in a region full of confl flict, the musicians fi nd it hard to see what the next years may bring. This is what biographical research teaches us: We always reconstruct our biography (and career) out of the present. We bundle, categorize, construct, and reconstruct. Musicians, in a similar way, perform their life story to an interviewer (see Hermann 2003). As a researcher, I try to see behind these performances as much as possible. I do so in analyzing their media products, too, and in getting to know as much as possible about these key 3 musicians through other actors in the field. fi Alfred Schütz further argues that the scientist creates the world—in a humoresque moment, he even compares the scientist to God (1975:287). The informant—musician in this case—becomes the puppet of the scientist. I classify, describe, interpret, and analyze structures of experiences in ways that answer to my own experience. In the humanities, this and other problematic issues are discussed in the “writing-culture-debate” (Clifford ff and Marcus 1986; Marcus and Fischer 1986) and highlighted with the term “crisis-of-representation.” Ethnographers tend to reproduce their own positions and perspectives in their ethnographies, “including their epistemological stances, their relations to the cultural practices and individuals studied, and their relationships to their own cultural practices” (Barz and Cooley 2008:20).

24

Local Music Scenes and Globalization

I am aware of this problem. I decided to write in fi rst-person singular at many points in this book, underlining that I write out of my perspective and position. Two points from “writing-culture-debate” are important: 1. Data Transparency: splitting of the empirical data and the analytical consequences. One has to know who is speaking: Is it me the scholar or me the musician? This is one way to limit the “ethnographical authority” (Clifford ff 1988, cited in Hermann 2003:7) of the scholar at least a bit. In this book, I introduce comments and notes from my field diary as well as direct and unedited parts of my interviews with musicians. I further introduce comments from expert listeners from a reception test and international reviews by international journalists. 2. Dialogical Editing: This book proceeds according to the principle of “dialogical editing” (Feld 1982:239–268). I sent drafts of this book back to the musicians to discuss. I deleted quotes if they wished, and I corrected mistakes. These exchanges via e-mail helped a great deal in improving this text. In the book, I highlight some of their fundamental propositions and critiques now and then. I allow myself my own critical point of view at times4 —for example, in sections marked “Fieldnotes.” No approach or position is neutral: In performances studies, the “other” may be part of one’s own culture (non-Western or Western), or even an aspect of one’s own behavior. That positions the performance studies fieldworker fi at a Brechtian distance, allowing for criticism, irony, and personal commentary as well as sympathetic participation. In this active way, one performs fieldfi work. (Schechner 2006:2) I am involved with the musicians on many levels. With some musicians, I performed on stage with the Norient project Sonic Traces: From the Arab World, and from others I licensed tracks for the compilation CD Golden Beirut—New Sounds from Lebanon. I invited some musicians to Switzerland for concerts or performances, and I wrote articles in newspapers or produced radio programs or radio features about others. For this research, I needed to be involved, I believe. I needed to understand these musicians’ daily praxis in cultural fields fi in order to be able to write about them. Inside ethnomusicology, it is a common theme that scholars feel the necessity to play non-Western instruments of the non-Western cultures in which they conduct their studies (see bi-musicality in Hood 1960), but how many ethnomusicologists master the instruments of the digital age? Some actually do, but it is a small minority. So, do today’s music theorists need to become experts in laptop culture, DJ-ing, sampling, and sound engineering? To a certain extent, I believe, yes.

Theoretical Frame

25

While researching, my goal was to fi nd a good mixture of closeness and (critical) distance to the musicians. I needed to find fi their trust, and I am now very careful in how I represent them. The musicians offered ff me a lot of their time, and I gave them back at least some public coverage. Even with this book, the musicians hope that it is supportive for their career.

3

Methodological Approach

Ethnomusicology enjoys the advantages of being an inherently interdisciplinary discipline, seemingly in a perpetual state of experimentation that gains strength from a diversity and plurality of approaches. ( . . . ) In this sense, ethnomusicologists are in a unique position to question established methods and goals of the social sciences, and to explore new perspectives. These new perspectives are not just for ethnomusicologists but also for all ethnographic disciplines. (Barz and Cooley 2008:3) In order to achieve a close reading of the discrepancies and interrelations between the musical production, the musicians’ motives, and the reception on local and on Euro-American platforms, I work with an experimental, multidisciplinary research layout. To stand the test of time, this analysis has to be close to the musicians, the music, and the daily realities on the international reception platforms. This methodological approach thus switches between close reading of music and broad overviews of contexts and trends.

MULTISITED ETHNOGRAPHY This book works with approaches of “multisited ethnography” (Marcus 1995). Its claim that local culture is always confi figured from transnational contexts is crucial in this analysis. Multisited ethnography not only describes a specifi fic lifestyle from a local perspective, but it also tries to understand the bigger political, economical, and cultural frame that influfl ences local life and work. Many of the points mentioned in the two editions of the book Shadows in the Field are inspiring, for example, the approaches “virtual fieldwork” fi by Cooley, Meizel, and Syed and “Internet Ethnography” (2008:90–107). Researching via the Internet, discussing questions and articles via e-mail, and following the bands via Facebook became important whenever I was not in the field. I constantly observe the musicians (and their media representations). This keeps my research up-to-date. I can even see with whom the musicians network and what they discuss, and this generates new research questions. I keep in mind that online performances on Facebook are very specifi fic, and I would even argue that they are simply valuable data, when discussed with the musicians—or at least with other actors in the field.

Methodological Approach 27 MAIN PERSPECTIVES: MUSICIAN, MUSIC, MEDIA PRODUCT In my methodological approach, I work from three main perspectives: 1. The perspective “musician (as an actor)” involves all spheres that aff ffect the musician as a human being and artist: for example, the geographical position in which he (or she) lives; mobility; fi financial possibilities; position of the musician in his (or her) country; and knowledge (through socialization and education). All of this leads to the musicians’ motives (why he or she makes music) and to identity constructions (and positioning toward the world). 2. The perspective “music making (as a practice)” involves the processes of music making and music production (writing, composing, recording, mixing); hard and software and their inherent laws; the impact of musical infl fluences and references; and trends within the local music circles and transnational niche genres. 3. The perspective “music as a media product” involves reception and further processing: It looks at music, culture, and arts market(s) (and their possibilities); secondary markets (video clip, film music, game soundtracks); and reception ideologies of funding organizations, media, and fans. This category off ffers various options for action: promotion and networking strategies, representation ideologies, and performance strategies. These three main perspectives overlap, and they are temporary working categories only. However, perspective one (musician as an actor) asks for an empirical culture-studies approach; perspective two (music making as a practice) for an analysis of music and sound; and perspective three (music as a media product) for a broad analysis of the reception platforms with their networks and power structures. Here, musicians act strategically within a complex network of organizers, agencies, cultural sponsors, and media. According to Susanne Binas-Preisendörfer (2010), it is a task for ethnographers to reconstruct the interaction of these forces and to focus and reflect fl on the ensuing aesthetic ideas. This is exactly what I do in this book.

ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELDWORK The main data of this long-term study derive from several pieces of field fi research in Beirut—the main ones were conducted in 2005 and 2006, when I lived in Beirut. Smaller ones I conducted in short research trips (between one and three weeks) between 2001 and 2011. I used some of the methodological approaches of grounded theory (Strauss and Corbin 1996). Basically, grounded theory enables us to put forward far-ranging theses without ignoring the complexity, inconsistency, and process-oriented

28

Local Music Scenes and Globalization

nature of human (and artist) behavior and strategies. To approach musicians in Beirut as closely as possible, I used a set of qualitative research methods: diff fferent forms of interviews (structured, semi-structured, informal/theme-based, biographical/with single informants or groups); participant observation; and systematic observation (Beer 2003:119; Hauser-Schäublin 2003:33) of the musicians in their daily life and during concerts. I focused on many actors of diff fferent age-groups working in or around the field of music in Beirut. All in all, I met and interviewed around one hundred musicians; composers; scholars (musicologists, ethnomusicologists, and social anthropologists); music producers (record producers, festival and concert organizers); media people (journalists and editors); members of arts councils (from different ff international institutions); and music lovers. Further, I observed their activities in numerous settings: from international music festivals in Baalbek, Beiteddine, and Byblos, to club concerts in the trendy Beirut areas of Gemmayzeh and Hamra, to rehearsal sessions in small cellars or in big villas. My aim in meeting that many actors was to become as well informed about the Lebanese context as possible. This became increasingly important the more I met the key musicians. Most of them I met several times in different ff constellations. The intention was to slowly bring the discussion to the deeper levels of music making and to sensitive issues like their childhood in war. To do so, I needed a lot of knowledge on the local context so I could ask and re-ask the right questions. Often, the interviews and discussions went on for many hours. After one meeting, Charbel Haber told me that he had never talked so much and never given an interview that was that long— we had discussed music for nearly five fi hours. It took Raed Yassin and me five hours to go through his piece “CW Tapes” for the fi rst time.

MUSIC ANALYSIS—RECEPTION TEST Two of the main decisions this book is based upon call for a rather special approach to music analysis. The fi rst decision was to work cross-culturally and to use emic and ethic criteria to analyze and describe music. The second decision was to focus on a generation of musicians (born during the Lebanese Civil War) instead of a specifi fic musical style: rap, rock, metal, MBM, free improvisation, or electronic music, for example. One minor problem is that we cannot transcribe the variety of musical styles similarly. In most of the cases, I thus create tables with timelines of specific fi musical events, and I describe in written text specifics fi such as which chords are played, what scale is used, and so forth. I use the classicall form of notation in the track “Aranis” only. The problem with notation and transcriptions remains that they can show only a glimpse of the actual musical phenomena. Furthermore, the moment a musicologist applies a traditional notation,

Methodological Approach

29

the social scientist and the untrained reader are excluded from discussion. The major diffi fficulty, however, was (and is) that I am not an expert in all the musical styles that I focus on in this book. Having played clarinet in a music school and saxophone at the Swiss Jazz School of Bern (and in some local bands) for quite a while makes me understand more about jazz and free improvised music than about metal music. Today, I further perform in audiovisual performance projects, and I sometimes DJ. This gives me some knowledge of live electronics. I further use various software programs to edit and manipulate sounds for radio features and podcasts. To gain more knowledge across the various music styles, I decided to conduct a small reception test. I sent these metal, rap, rock, free improvisation, and electronic music tracks to thirty listeners in Europe, the US, and the Arab world. Most of them were musicians, ethnomusicologists, musicologists, and music journalists. They knew neither that this music was from Beirut nor the names of the musicians. In this book, I include only small parts of their answers. However, I used their comments within my research: to ask diff fferent and new questions to the musicians, or to discuss certain criticisms. The book Rock in the Reservation—Songs from the Leningrad Rock Club 1981–86 by Yngvar Bordewich Steinholt (2005) inspired this reception test. Steinholt adapted a reception test by Philip Tagg—see Music Analysis for “Non-musos” (Tagg 2001:9–14) for his study. In his book, he asks amateur musicians to listen to four pieces of music, and he edits and adds their comments in his analysis chapter. With his reception test, Steinholt further aims to achieve the same goals as I do: He states that the feedback of the listeners would cover a “suffi fficient basis” on how the bands from Leningrad “use and combine Western musical styles” and to “which extent their recontextualisation of rock styles creates particular local styles” (Steinholt 2005:12). This setting is challenging. The ideal is to get a multisited ethnography and to receive results that show the complexities of musicians’ actions in today’s globalized and digitalized world. I need this highly abstract yet flexible theoretical and methodological framework in order to approach, read, and make “thick descriptions” (in the sense of Geertz 1987) of very specific fi examples in music practice. In this manner, I wish to fulfi fill the fundamental requirement of popular music researcher Binas-Preisendörfer. She argues that “a scientifi fic exploration of the musical phenomena in a modern globalized and mediated world demands both reflexive fl theoretical concepts as well as very specific, fi small-scale studies” (2010:103). One aim of this book is thus to propose a way of analyzing music in today’s globalized and digitized world. This analysis should be close to the musicians and the music, but it should not ignore power balances and realities on the cultural markets. I try to apply this proposition, working with the following hypothesis:

30 Local Music Scenes and Globalization Music making in an increased digitalized and globalized world is infl fluenced more than ever by both virtual transnational trends and phenomena and by local musical and nonmusical spheres of influence. fl Contemporary music analysis has thus to link analysis of music (and music performance) with cultural and social studies and collect data in transnational contexts.

Part II

Ethnography Musicians from Beirut Born During the Lebanese Civil War

This part presents findings from various ethnographic research trips. It situates Lebanese musicians within diff fferent—local and transnational—socioeconomic spheres and networks. Between 2001 and 2011, I interviewed around one hundred musicians from diff fferent “cultures” and generations in Lebanon, and I also conducted interviews in Paris and Bern. In 2012, I researched online primarily to keep this ethnographic overview as complete and up-to-date as possible. This part starts with an introduction into key music “cultures”, including key musicians and groups, labels, and places (mainly from the perspective of “music making (as a practice)” with a focus on “production”). Then I highlight human, spatial, institutional, and accidental hubs (Kiwan and Meinhof 2011) (mainly from the perspective of “music as a media product” with a focus on “distribution”) that support these musicians and spread their works. The part ends with nonmusical spheres that influence fl musicians in Beirut in their daily life (from the perspective of the “musician (as an actor)”. The focus lies on music first because it is my understanding that these musicians want recognition for their music, rather than for being “Lebanese”, “Middle Eastern”, or part of the “postwar generation”. Initially, I had thought of conducting research in Istanbul or Cairo because I had written reportages in both of those places as well. My choice fell on Beirut because I got the impression that the musicians there worked with a lot of enthusiasm but with little support, from either local or international actors or institutions. In Istanbul, on the contrary, my feeling was that the musicians were very good at writing applications to international funders and sponsors. Additionally, small labels in Istanbul were very savvy to perform music that appealed to Euro-American tastes. Today, I know that there is, of course, much more to Istanbul. When I was in Cairo, “independent”, “alternative” music circles were still small. State control was fierce, and there was a great lack of venues

32 Local Music Scenes and Globalization where nonoffi fficial musicians could perform. Mahmoud Refat was one musician I met. I was fascinated by his way of recording the city and the desert with self-built microphones. At the time, not many knew him. Today, he performs on local and transnational platforms, and he founded the 100copies label, home of many upcoming musicians and artists (see Burkhalter 2003). Beirut, however, felt diff fferent. The city went through a lot of changes, and I felt great creative potential in the atmosphere. First and foremost, I searched for intense and distinct music, which is always my primary aim. The Lebanese seemed simply very open and welcoming. I shared a lot of musical interests with them and felt that I understood at least their music “culture”. However, the more I got to know them, the more disturbed I became. Looking back today, the descriptions of “the nature of” the Lebanese by Jean Said Makdisi, sister of Edward Said, seem like a warning: We are unforgiving judges of those who have not shared our experiences. We are like a secret society. We have our own language; we recognize signs that no one else does; we joke about our most intense pain, bewildering outsiders; we walk a tightrope pitched over an abyss of panic that a novice does not even perceive, let alone understand. We are provoked to anger and fear by the smallest detail while suffering calamity calmly. We are, each of us, bundles of nerves wound up so tightly into little balls of extra-awareness that we bounce off ff the walls of our personal and collective catastrophes with an apparent ease. Every new battle, every new death, every new car bombing and massacre, every new piece of bad news is felt by each of us as a personal injury to be borne silently. (Makdisi 1990:211) Despite this warning, and from the beginning, these musicians seemed to talk openly to me, the ethnomusicologist from Switzerland. Probably they enjoyed the fact that I did not understand all the hints and connections and thus would not judge too easily or put them into typical “Lebanese insider” categories—or it could be that, simply, they are of a younger generation than Makdisi and experienced the Lebanese Civil War as children rather than as adults. My interview strategy was not to talk too much about nonmusical issues at first. fi I wanted to catch the musicians’ interest through discussions about music and not bore them with nonexperienced, nonnuanced, and possibly naïve questions about Lebanon.

MUSIC MAKING AS A PRACTICE Pianist Cynthia Zaven showed me around in 2001. We enjoyed drinks at Torino Bar. Today, one fi nds bar next to bar in Gemmayzeh, but at the

Introduction to Part II

33

time, Torino was the only bar in this former residential area. There, I was introduced to many musicians, including Charbel Haber from the band Scrambled Eggs. In 2005, I remember being a bit disappointed at times. My choices were limited, as still all musicians and artists would hang out there. I could go to Torino Bar and enjoy a great evening or to another place, where I would eat and drink alone. It took some time to meet musicians from other circles. In the end, I could call this person to go to this place or another person for another place. For a long time, I had problems in determining a research sample: first, fi I wanted to work with musicians across generations; later, with women musicians only; and, fi nally, I decided on musicians born during the beginnings of the Lebanese Civil War. One main selection criteria was that these musicians had created their own labels and websites, were savvy with new technology used for production and distribution, and were working on both local and transnational platforms. Again, my Internet research in 2012 showed how well many of these musicians present themselves online. Further, these musicians had created music and media products that captured my interest. This generation of musicians aimed to revive the history of “alternative” pop music in Beirut—mostly without knowing that similar scenes had existed in the 1960s and 1970s, as I too discovered later. They wanted to work internationally but stay in Lebanon. Style-wise, my 2012 survey through websites of Lebanese musicians and bands off ffered a great variety of self-descriptions.1 These already indicate that the musicians are involved in transnational niche networks and assign themselves to music styles often associated with music in Europe and the US. In this ethnographic overview, I subsume this variety of styles into five fi working categories, circles, or “cultures”: “Experimental Music”, “Metal Music and Classic Rock”, “Urban Music (including indie rock, indie pop, electronic dance music)”, “Rap”, and “Arabic Songs”. Across these circles, many musicians do not know each other personally or know of each other only from afar. They gather and perform in different ff clubs, bars, and venues, some even in diff fferent parts of the city. In my research, I became a storyteller across these different ff circles, fulfi filling a typical ethnographer’s role. Some musicians do, of course, work in more than one circle—nothing is fi xed. The younger generation of musicians (born in the mid and late 1980s and early 1990s) especially challenges these working categories more than my key musicians do (those born in the late 1970s and early 1980s). In their noise, drone, dubstep, and hardcore music, they switch between “experimental” and “urban” easily, and their circles are constituted a bit differff ently. While writing this book, I decided to leave “Arabic Songs” out: I see these singers more as part of a continuation of the leftistt music culture from the 1970s onwards and not so much as new and transnational phenomena. As a non-Arabic speaker, I further felt that I was not able to get as close to their music and lyrics as I had wished. I did interview musicians from this “circle”, too, and I will still introduce some of their ideas and positions.

4

Experimental Music

Beirut hosts a very active scene of free improvised music. Paris-based Lebanese musicians Sharif Sehnaoui (*1976—he has lived in Beirut since 2008), his former wife, Christine Abdelnour (*1978), and cartoonist and trumpet player Mazen Kerbaj (*1975), living in East Beirut, started the scene around 1997. The three formed a trio, attracted more musicians, and created Musique Improvisée Libre au Liban (MILL), 2 an organization for free improvisation in Lebanon. Since 2000, Sehnaoui, Kerbaj, and friends have organized the annual international festival known as Irtijal (Improvisation). From its second edition onward, they have invited musicians from Europe, North America, Japan, India, and other Arab countries.3

THE MUSIC At fi rst hearing, these musicians seem to be infl fluenced mainly by North American and European musicians. They showed me extensive collections of free jazz, free improvised music, and new music on their CD and vinyl shelves, as well as on their laptops. I went to see these musicians performing many times: at their Irtijal Festivals in 2005 and 2006, in front of big and small crowds; and in the cultural center known as Zico House, where they played just for each other—the audience consisted of the musicians themselves, the mother of Sharif Sehnaoui, and me. I attended one of their performances in my hometown of Bern, in the alternative center Reitschule. It featured the Al Maslakh Ensemble with Mazen Kerbaj, Sharif Sehnaoui, Christine Abdelnour, double bass player Raed Yassin (*1979), Swiss clarinet and electric bass player Paed Conca, and US drummer Michael Zerang: The sextet renders a very diff fferentiated soundscape that is clearly segmented into diff fferent layers: Sharif Sehnaoui creates on his guitar very muted in-betweens: rasping sounds produced by a stick gliding over the guitar strings, or clear flageolets. Yassin uses similar techniques; however, he sometimes takes the lead, starts beating his double bass with his hands or metal sheets, or playing it with a bow, sometimes with heavy force. Christine Abdelnour on her saxophone plays very distinct sounds between very high-pitched notes, low whispering, and

36

01

Local Music Scenes and Globalization

JII[J J1 IRTIJAl

Th 6iJ1~ In~o:

ro Pol cUliI'li1:M Mo r'JlOio'l, lloli~'1J 00, :320 ~tl32 EntraL!1 Coli': 'I :!l..OOO

I

PiI,I\(.[;o(o'1,ltil PJ~Coo:.;I)~~~JI(;~,'tlMnrlLl~!I;.;I t-o ThMtoo ,MooilnoL 11'11.0: 03. 323 339

L~Th;:L'"ilT~til~,p:o!':Tj'

E:1III~rB'I1IO::8:

~5_I[IIDO

LL

~!I~1ll1=oo,"'n1:n{l

5.l't:.DE.1 S.SIO'IJiOlJI '" ILl' THo!.IJI~

I':OCIII R!VF.:S 1'SE:l!1lAOUl (.:tl!r!b} 1-\.ln~!0:t1j

~,~,

],~Ij

qIl'!'J'1

1!«I!O";Sru,oMldil~I\rl~~

N~""!I~

"SI!.rl~n:loOI.fjl~~'IiI'-"l1.i'

S!~.3l'1eR,\it'S~~ooS!X

'L~]I!;u'hT~'lr:oory,on.on

ql'l~So!f'ln,xlula~yx

& It(:-:Ji't);Y;,tIf!.it V'St ~lt)LI:

[~!)[lI)S~tf!l'A(;

~W«"-!!iI~'>::&'t.e;

1.·-!!1i!o1.;:-(;:tr.:l!1~1

~~'Ir.""-~""~

l.~l'!.'l'V