Jerusalem In My Heart + Farida Amadou at The Cube
Headfirst Editor's Pick

"Arabic classical meets blistering electroacoustic sound design and stunning 16mm visuals for a visceral, headlong dive into a world on fire. Recommended for fans of Sarah Davachi, Oren Ambarchi, Lucrecia Dalt."

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A gig held at The Cube on Thursday 7th July. The event starts at 19:30.

One of the most renowned and uncompromising entities working in 21st century avant-garde Arab-Levantine art and music, Jerusalem In My Heart (Constellation Records) presents a new album of vital and haunting electronics and electroacoustics, framed by founder and producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh’s spoken and sung Arabic, buzuk-playing and sound design. This one is absolutely not to be missed!

JIMH last graced the Cube stage in 2019, filling the auditorium with the hope and grief of a culture rapidly being eaten by the entropic logic of capitalism, imperialism and the self-destructive rage of fundamnetalism. “Qalaq” is an Arabic word with many shades of meaning but Moumneh particularly intends it as “deep worry” – on various obvious global levels, but also specifically with respect to Lebanon: its collapsing domestic politics, economy and infrastructure; the tragedy and aftermath of the 2020 Beirut port explosion; the intractable geography and geopolitics that continue to condemn the country to corruption, disruption, destabilization and violence.

Qalaq is the most distilled, variegated and finely wrought Jerusalem In My Heart album to date – featuring a different guest/collaborator on every track, yet as cohesive, emotionally resonant, sonically adventurous and narratively powerful as any release in JIMH’s celebrated discography. Guests across the album's 13 tracks include Moor Mother, Tim Hecker, Lucrecia Dalt, Greg Fox, Alanis Obomsawin, Rabih Beaini and many more. Moumneh initially through-composed Qalaq in purposely stark and skeletal form, then gave each guest artist a section to decompose, edit, re-interpret and recompose as they desired, working their stems back into his own mixes for each piece/section and moulding newfound coherences in the overall work.

The album artwork—with a front cover colour photograph by Myriam Boulous capturing a scene during the Beirut October Revolution of 2019, back cover calligraphy by Krystian Sarkis, and inner sleeve photography of the Beirut port explosion aftermath by Tony Elieh—further contextualizes the specificity and lamentations of Qalaq; the deep worry at its heart.

Qalaq also (re)introduces the newest member of Jerusalem In My Heart: experimental filmmaker Erin Weisgerber, who had just embarked on her first JIMH tour in March 2020, performing six shows before the tour was abruptly suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. Weisgerber’s phenomenal short film for “Qalouli”, the duo’s first new work made for Constellation’s Corona Borealis Longform Singles Series last year, provides a glimpse of what’s to come.


Farida Amadou (b.1989) is a self taught bass player based in Liège, Belgium. The electric
bass is her main instrument since 2011. In 2013, she has started to play a lot of different
musical genres, including blues, jazz and hip-hop. The same year, she had a big interest
on improvised music when she met L’Oeil Kollectif members and started to play with
percusionnist/ drummer Tom Malmendier. Nystagmus duo was born in late 2014.

Since 2014, she has performed with many musicians all over Europe: Linda Sharrock,
Mario Rechtern, Balasz Pandi, Karl H. Bjora, Jasper Stadhouders, Onno Govaert, Eve
Risser, Morgane Carnet, Philippe Lemoine, Timothée Quost, Julien Desprez, Olivier
Benoit, Anil Eraslan, Mette Rasmussen, Basile Naudet, Chris Pitsiokos, Alex Ward,
Thursthon Moore, etc.

End of 2017, Farida Amadou has joined the punk/noise band ‘COCAINE PISS’. A few
months later, Cocaine Piss recorded their album « Passionate and Tragic » at Electrical
Audio Studios in Chicago, with Steve Albini. After two years in the band, Farida decided to
leave the band (early 2019). In May 2018, she has started a new duo project with the
drummer based in London, Steve Noble, including trio collaborations with Alex Ward on
clarinet, Chris Pitsiokos on saxophone, ex Sonic Youth’s guitarist Thurston Moore on guitar
and recently with the free jazz pioneer Peter Brötzmann.

Farida Amadou was also part of the OORSTOF series (curated by SoundInMotion –
Antwerp) project with Ken Vandermark and his band MARKER. For the second part on the
year 2019, Farida Amadou has focused on her solo performance, and experimented
different collaboration simultaneously. She started playing duo with Floris Vanhoof
(modular synth), another duo with Pavel Tchikov (guitar). Amadou and Tchikov released a
tape called ‘Mal de terre’ on the Chicago based label trouble in Minds records on
November 2021. Later in 2021, commissioned by Europalia, Farida created a sound
installation with the support of Overtoon, QO2 and ateliers claus. 2022 will be a year of
touring and new album making.

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