EastEast presents the premiere of a live video excerpt from the PRAED Orchestra! performance back in 2018 at the Sharjah Foundation—a cultural center in the UAE that supports artists, musicians, and filmmakers from the Arab World. The audio recording of the concert, named simply Live in Sharjah, was released on Rabih Beaini's Morphine Records in November. The special show brought together some of the best instrumental musicians from West Asia and other countries, with Maurice Louca, Nadah El Shazly, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Jerusalem in My Heart, and Alan Bishop of Sun City Girls and Sublime Frequencies among others led by the members of the band PRAED.
Artist and musician, co-founder of PRAED and co-organizer of Irtijal Festival
The show that we did in Sharjah is a black humor science-fiction operette in seven sections played with an all-star band of very different musicians. Its concept starts just before the apocalyptic scenario of doomsday somewhere in Arabia. In this video we're seeing the first section called “The Last Invasion.” It is the last invasion of aliens to Earth with an operatic singer calling for help in a peculiar way. It has a bit of a black humor, because it reminds me of the film Mars Attacks, but it's still a semi-improvisational piece. It's more of a background story though, so it doesn't always relate to the sounds you hear.
All the music we played at Sharjah that night was originally composed by PRAED, which is myself and Paed Conca. For this performance we invited an eclectic set of eleven artists to create the orchestration. This particular selection of artists came together because each of them has a very strong musical character and very individual interpretation of music. We also wanted to have people from different backgrounds and genres because of our own interest in those kinds of music.
The full lineup of the PRAED Orchestra!
Paed Conca: Clarinet, Electric Bass, Electronics
Raed Yassin: Synthesizers, Vocals, Electronics
Alan Bishop: Alto Saxophone, Vocals
Nadah El Shazly: Vocals, keyboard, Electronics
Christine Kazarian: Electric Harp
Hans Koch: Bass Clarinet, Soprano Sax
Martin Kuchen: Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Sax
Maurice Louca: Keyboard, Organ
Radwan Ghazi Moumneh: Buzuk, Vocals, Modular Synthesizer
Sam Shalabi: Electric Guitar, Oud
Ute Wassermann: Vocals, Mouth Harp, Whistles
Khaled Yassine: Drums, Percussion, Darbuka
Michael Zerang: Drums, Percussion