“The musics backbone is traditional, but wild outbursts of free improvisation and subtle injections of noise make it quite unlike anything you'd hear in the shisha dens of Cairo or Baghdad.” - THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT
“Gordon Grdina is both a skilled and slippery performer on the oud and a fiercely inventive noise guitarist”
- THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT
From the depths of Vancouver’s rich avant-garde improvisational music community, comes the phenomenal culture-mashing, juggernaut that is Haram. The power-house ensemble, half studied in the Arabic tradition and half who cut their teeth in the improv-indie-rock-jazz scene, is led by Juno Award-winning GORDON GRDINA (Dan Mangan, Mats Gustafsson, Mark Helias, Gary Peacock, Paul Motian) who trades in his guitar for Iraqi oud. Haram pays homage to traditional Arabic music while mixing elements of noise, electronic soundscape, and western free improv into their explosively self-expressive sound.
The sheer size of the band aside, trying to collect this ambitious selection of creative heavy-hitters in the same place and time is a feat. On stage you’ll find drummer KENTON LOEWEN (Dan Mangan, The Crackling, Jerry Granelli), trumpeter JP CARTER (The Inhabitants, Destroyer, Fond Of Tigers) and bassist TOMMY BABIN (Paul Plimley, Now Orchestra, Sendero Luminoso).
Violinist JESSE ZUBOT (Tanya Tagaq, Hawksley Workman, Fond Of Tigers) is a staple of Vancouver’s “free” music scene and is founder of the world-renowned Drip Audio label. Percussionists TIM GERWING and LIAM MACDONALD have been performing the Arabic tradition with Iraqi Oud virtuoso Serwan Yamokly for years and EMAD ARMOUSH has been a professional Arabic singer since his youth. Composer, improviser and soloist FRANÇOISE HOULE has, in part, reinvented the way the clarinet is played in North America.
Haram's traditional foundation feels familiar but avoids the kitsch of a simple homage band. The music, developed over time, has reached that sublime state of effortless cohesion while retaining its sense of wild abandon. The repertoire starts with Iraqi folk music and ends at the mid-century era of Egyptian radio music in which Oum Khalsoum and Farid Al Atrache reigned.
On Haram's debut album “Her Eyes Illuminate”, traditional pieces are blown wide open. The group takes classic Arabic music from great composers like Farid Al-Atrache, Abdul Whahab, and Oum Khalsoum and filters them through Vancouver's creative improvising community. It's invigorating to watch the group constantly shifting directions while building to euphoric crescendos.
Haram plays a repertoire that has been revered by millions over decades, conjuring an immense sense of respect and homage while remaining explosively self-expressive. This one-of-a-kind ensemble is for anyone interested in exciting, cross-cultural, boundary-annihilating music.
eclipse is pleased to present this groundbreaking act at Parterre One Kultur.
THURSDAY, 15.06.2017 | Parterre One Kultur | Basel, Switzerland
eclipse will be bringing you select shows as of Spring 2017. Check back from time to time to see what's blooming!