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From Karlovy Vary to Pula

It's festival hopping time, from an amazing film fest in a spa town (Karlovy Vary, Czech Rep) to a fabulous film fest in a beach town (Pula, Croatia) where Tramontane was awarded the international jury's special mention!

  Pula's Roman arena where the award ceremony took place

Pula's Roman arena where the award ceremony took place

Cannes 2016 Snapshots

The producers, the editor, the composer and the boss

The production team on stage for the World Premiere

The A Team: Renée, Christian, Myriam, Jessica, Zeina and Antoine

Mother and Son

Mother (in film) and Son - photo by Aurélie Lamachère

 Caroline and Nadia

Caroline and Nadia

The official poster of Tramontane

On the red carpet for the Camera d'Or night

Vatche Boulghourjian - photo by Aurélie Lamachère

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Barakat and Gaby: Party central

Vatche receiving the Rail d'Or

Standing Ovation for Tramontane World Premiere in Cannes - 2016

Tramontane (Rabih), Vatche Boulghourjian's feature film was greeted at its world premiere with a very long and moving standing ovation at this year's Cannes' Critic's Week! This moment will be etched in our memory forever.

In the video (from left to right): Gaby Khalil, Toufic Barakat, Julia Kassar, Barakat Jabbour, Vatche Boulghourjian, Cynthia Zaven

Opening of Listen At The Beirut Art Center

The exhibition is on! And it will last until August 21st 2016. It feels great to be back at the Beirut Art Center, now headed by the amazing Marie Muracciole. The show Listen focuses on the medium of sound. It is curated by both Marie and Marcella Lista, art historian based in Paris and chief curator of the New Media collection at the Centre Pompidou.

My video For Voice And Forest is shot in a natural environment and tackles the experience of sound within the limits of silence and perception through the incredible voice of 8 year old Alexandra.

Tramontane goes to Cannes!

Tramontane has been officially selected to take part in the 55th Edition of La Semaine de la Critique / Critic's Week! The world premiere will take place in May 2016, in Cannes. This is the first time that a Lebanese feature is selected in this section. 

I feel blessed to have taken part in this truly unique journey from the start, supervising the music and composing the score, working with an outstanding cast including Barakat Jabbour, a blind musical prodigy and one of the most brilliantly talented performers we'll ever see on screen. And I feel deeply honored to have collaborated with the incredible artist who made it all happen, my partner in life, Vatche Boulghourjian.
Cannes, here we come! 🎊⛱

For more info on the Semaine de la Critique, please click here

For more info on Tramontane please click here

A Bunker Fairy Tale at the Winterthur International Short Film Festival

         A Bunker Fairy Tale (2013) - video still 1

  A Bunker Fairy Tale (2013)  - video still 2

A Bunker Fairy Tale (2013)  - video still 2

My 8 min video A Bunker Fairy Tale produced by the Project Biennial of Contemporary Art (Bosnia) was screened last night at the Winterthur International Short Film Festival! The video was created in 2013 as part of a 12 channel sound and video installation, a work that can still be seen within the permanent exhibition of the Konjiç bunker turned into a contemporary art museum. This would be the first time that the video is screened out of its original context, in the frame of Beirut Video Works. The program was curated by Jasmin Basiç from Visions du Réel festival. The video is based on family archive super 8 films shot in 1975 in Beirut.

For more info on the festival, please click on the official page here

"Room" in Istanbul and Oslo

"Room" is a dance performance with live accompaniment on prepared piano and drums. It's a collaboration between dancer Mia Habis, drummer Øyvind Skarbø and myself on the piano.

Although the structure of the performance is pretty much set, there's always room for improvisation and no two performances are alike. It's always an incredible experience to perform in different venues and on different grand pianos, let alone different countries. We started off with Lebanon in 2014, followed by Istanbul for the first edition of A Corner In The World Festival, then Oslo to perform at the Coda International Dance Festival 2015, where our venue was nothing other but the old Saint Jacob Church turned into an amazing performance space. 

For more info on Coda Festival, click here

For more info on A Corner In The World Festival, click here

Talents Beirut

A branch of the Berlinale Talents which invites every year more than 300 talents from the four corners of the globe during the Berlin International Film Festival to meet film experts and discuss film related matters, Talents Beirut is a project that aims to support film talents from the Arab World by discovering new ways to approach the art of film making, whether from technical or theoretical point of views.

I was happy to be part of the "experts" in this 2015 edition of Talents Beirut to conduct the Master Class on film scoring with emerging music composers from Lebanon and Egypt!

For more information on the program, check out the official page here.

Morgenland Festival

I'm thrilled to have taken part in a fantastic concert on July 24th, topped by an incredible jam. The Morgenland festival is much more than a music festival, it's one of the coolest venues for musicians from all over the world to meet and perform together in front of a very reactive and receptive audience. Concerts could last up to 3 hours, and what an incredible experience that is!

Rehearsals in a 300 year old house in the middle of the forest - photo by Andy Spyra

Facing a standing ovation with all the musicians who jammed with us. From left to right: Ranu, Zulal trio, Cynthia Zaven, Rony Barrak, Negar Bouban, Feruza Ochilova, Dima Orsho, Alex Morsey, Simin Tander, Bodek Janke, Nelly Markarian, Kinan Azmeh, Caroline Thon, Veronika Todorova. photo by Andy Spyra

Rudolstadt Festival

The Rudolstadt festival is Germany's biggest roots, folk and world music festival. The concerts take place throughout the entire town itself – from the baroque church to the town theatre, from the castle terrace to the marketplace, on thirty-two stages. Every year, the Ruth Prize awards a creative and outstanding act. This year, it was our turn! Our concert was scheduled at the palace square in the middle of the afternoon, at the Große Buhne Heidecksburg, an open air venue on what turned out to be the hottest day of the month. The Ruth Prize ceremony was set to start at 4pm. We performed afterwards at over 40 degrees Celsius to an audience of passionate music lovers and festival's veterans. We were really excited, survived after performing in such incredible heat, and thrilled to have received the Ruth prize 2015! 

Ruth world music award

Getting ready for Rudolstadt and the Ruth World Music Award!

What started as an experiment between 8 musicians from different backgrounds at the Women in Jazz festival in 2014, turned out to be the winner of a world music award! On July 4th 2015 we will be performing our own compositions with new arrangements for 8 musicians and singers at the Rudolstadt World Music festival in Germany. The 8 musicians include Caroline Thon who's the initiator of the project on sax, Alex Morsey from Germany on double bass, Bodek Janke from Poland/Kazakhstan on percussion and drums, Negar Bouban from Iran on oud, Veronika Todorova from Bulgaria on accordion, Feruza Ochilova from Uzbekistan on dutar and vocals, Simin Tander from Germany/Afghanistan on vocals and myself on piano.

The concert will take place in the main festival square in Rudolstadt after which the award will be given. Can't wait!


 From left to right: Bodek Janke, Cynthia Zaven, Negar Bouban, Feruza Ochilova, Caroline Thon, Simin Tander, Alex Morsey and Veronica Todorova at the Halle Opera House, February 2014 -  photo by Raisa Galofre

From left to right: Bodek Janke, Cynthia Zaven, Negar Bouban, Feruza Ochilova, Caroline Thon, Simin Tander, Alex Morsey and Veronica Todorova at the Halle Opera House, February 2014 - photo by Raisa Galofre

 

Perpetuum Mobile at the AUB gallery

My 12 channel sound installation Perpetuum Mobile, part of the This Is The Time. And This Is The Record Of The Time exhibition has been shipped from the Stedelijk Museum Bureau in Amsterdam to the AUB gallery in Beirut! The opening was on March 26 and had an amazing turnout.
The exhibition curated by Angela Harutyunyan and Nat Muller, that includes works by Kristina Benjocki, Diana Hakobyan, Sebastián Díaz Morales, Peter Fengler, Daniele Genadry, Walid Sadek, Rayyane Tabet and Esmé Valk will run until July 25th 2015.

Unpacking 6 amps, 12 speakers, laptop, sound card and miles of cables

Tijs Ham setting up a software from the future (Supercollider) on a computer from the past (Powerbook G4)

View from the opening

Tramontane Awarded AFAC grant and Arte International Prize!

In the space of one week, Tramontane, the feature length movie in pre-production written and directed by Vatche Boulghourjian was awarded the Arte International Prize at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and a production grant from AFAC! 

This is the most challenging and exciting project I have ever come across as music supervisor and composer, and I can't wait for production to start already! 

Ghassan Salhab wins at Abu Dhabi Film Festival!

One of the joys of composing music comes from collaborations with visionary filmmakers on truly inspiring projects.               With "The Valley", Ghassan was awarded the "Best Director From The Arab World" prize at the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival last night!

Ghassan is an incredible director with extensive knowledge in both classical and contemporary music. I feel honoured to have him as a dear friend, and to have had the opportunity to work with him for the second time!