In association with Supersonic Festival
Thu 7 July // 19:30
Tickets: £15 advance
One of the most renowned and uncompromising entities working in 21st century avant-garde Arab-Levantine art and music, Jerusalem In My Heart (Constellation Records) presents a new album of vital and haunting electronics and electroacoustics, framed by founder and producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh’s spoken and sung Arabic, buzuk-playing and sound design. This one is absolutely not to be missed!
JIMH last graced the Cube stage in 2019, filling the auditorium with the hope and grief of a culture rapidly being eaten by the entropic logic of capitalism, imperialism and the self-destructive rage of fundamnetalism. “Qalaq” is an Arabic word with many shades of meaning but Moumneh particularly intends it as “deep worry” – on various obvious global levels, but also specifically with respect to Lebanon: its collapsing domestic politics, economy and infrastructure; the tragedy and aftermath of the 2020 Beirut port explosion; the intractable geography and geopolitics that continue to condemn the country to corruption, disruption, destabilization and violence.
Qalaq is the most distilled, variegated and finely wrought Jerusalem In My Heart album to date – featuring a different guest/collaborator on every track, yet as cohesive, emotionally resonant, sonically adventurous and narratively powerful as any release in JIMH’s celebrated discography. Guests across the album's 13 tracks include Moor Mother, Tim Hecker, Lucrecia Dalt, Greg Fox, Alanis Obomsawin, Rabih Beaini and many more. Moumneh initially through-composed Qalaq in purposely stark and skeletal form, then gave each guest artist a section to decompose, edit, re-interpret and recompose as they desired, working their stems back into his own mixes for each piece/section and moulding newfound coherences in the overall work.
The album artwork—with a front cover colour photograph by Myriam Boulous capturing a scene during the Beirut October Revolution of 2019, back cover calligraphy by Krystian Sarkis, and inner sleeve photography of the Beirut port explosion aftermath by Tony Elieh—further contextualizes the specificity and lamentations of Qalaq; the deep worry at its heart.
Qalaq also (re)introduces the newest member of Jerusalem In My Heart: experimental filmmaker Erin Weisgerber, who had just embarked on her first JIMH tour in March 2020, performing six shows before the tour was abruptly suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. Weisgerber’s phenomenal short film for “Qalouli”, the duo’s first new work made for Constellation’s Corona Borealis Longform Singles Series last year, provides a glimpse of what’s to come.