Jerusalem In My Heart
Ben Shemie, Sontag Shogun
599 Johnson Ave.
Brooklyn, NY, 11237
Doors 8:00 PM
This event is 16 and over
Jerusalem In My Heart
Jerusalem In My Heart (JIMH) is the acclaimed Montréal–Beirut contemporary Arabic audio-visual duo of musician/producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh and experimental analog filmmaker Charles-André Coderre. The project has been active since the mid-2000s as a site-specific live performance happening, featuring a wide array of multi-media and theatrical elements, where no two shows were ever the same.
In 2012, Moumneh began to reconceive JIMH as a recording project and live duo in which performances could be ‘repeated’, with an accompanying focus on analog film visuals. 16mm film loops and projections are an integral part of the JIMH aesthetic identity – still frames from these film materials are also used to generate the group’s album art and packaging.
Musically, JIMH is guided by Moumneh’s melding of ‘traditional’ melismatic singing (in Arabic) and buzuk playing, with modern deployments of modular synthesis, filter banks, power electronics, field recordings, etc. JIMH recordings intentionally pay homage to the blown-out distortions of historical Arabic cassette tape culture, processed through modern currents of electronic music. Moumneh’s lyrical themes are deeply expressive and rich in political and socio-cultural historical consciousness: “there is a heartfelt yearning and emotion that unifies” the work, writes The Wire; “stunning of-the-moment [music] that speaks to the intersection of the personal and political with supreme confidence” says AdHoc.
JIMH’s three full-length albums to date – all released on Montréal experimental music label Constellation – have variously appeared on year-end lists in such publications as The Quietus, The Wire, A Closer Listen, and others. The project has toured widely in Europe and Canada (with occasional forays into the USA) and has also performed several times in Beirut. JIMH has been a guest curator for Le Guess Who? Festival and Moumneh is also intensely active as an audio engineer and producer, with a long list of Montréal artists and albums to his credit, usually working out of the city’s legendary Hotel2Tango studio, where Moumneh is a co-owner. JIMH has also released a collaborative album with Suuns (on Secretly Canadian) and was featured in an installment of the Grapefruit Records subscription series.
Sontag Shogun is a collaborative trio that makes use of analog sound treatments and nostalgic solo piano compositions in harmony to depict abstract places in our memory. Textures built from organic materials such as sand, slate, boiling water, brush and dried leaves, both produced live in performance and recorded to weathered 1/4" tape warm up the space between lush piano themes. All of which is abstracted coolly in the reflective digital space of treated vocals and a live-processed feed from the piano. Bringing us back, like a faded passing scent or any natural emotive trigger, but to where? The wordless journey there will inevitably be more revealing than the destination itself.
Sontag Shogun has improvised with artists as diverse as Matana Roberts, Tom Carter, Aki Onda and Julia Kent as well as poets, choreographers, filmmakers, a collective of Japanese contemporary video artists and scentscape installation artists. They have shared the stage with notable artists such as Todd Reynolds, R. Luke DuBois, Edwin Van Der Heide, Alexander Turnquist, Chris Forsyth, Ben Vida & Koen Holtkamp, Sam Shalabi, Noveller among many others.
Ian Temple, piano
Jeremy Young, tapes, oscillators, piezo mics
Jesse Perlstein, laptop, field recordings