Monday, July 31, 2006

Mazen Kerbaj

It's taken me quite a while to track this down - a piece of minimalist music I heard a snippet of on the Today Programme last week(?). It was played during an interview with Lebanese artist, Mazen Kerbaj.

'Starry Night' in its entirety is 40 minutes long. This excerpt lasts just over 6 minutes. As minimalism goes it's pretty bleak (but then, given the circumstances of beleaguered Lebanon it would be) - until the crump of bombs and wailing sirens kick in like a boot to one's belly. Kerbaj describes it thus:
A minimalistic improvisation by: Mazen Kerbaj / trumpet. The Israeli Air Force / bombs
Recorded by Mazen Kerbaj on the balcony of his flat in Beirut, on the night of 15th to 16th of July 2006.© mazen kerbaj 2006

I've never heard a bomb explode - and neither do I want to - and neither can I begin to imagine the pain and destruction inflicted on Lebanon at present - again. His work does not take us to the comfort zone and is as neat as expression of anguish I've come across since standing in front of Picasso's 'Guernica'. Go there. Empathise.

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