Nadah El Shazly
Afuma

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019
8:00 PM
Brooklyn Music School Theater
126 St Felix St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
$20 / $15 for members
Materials

Nadah El Shazly is a Cairo-based producer, singer, and performer whose ethereal songcraft assimilates impulses from improvised and electronic idioms into an otherworldly modernization of the classical music of Al-Nahda, the Arabic renaissance. Shazly cut her teeth fronting a Misfits cover band and singing jazz standards before discovering the futuristic sensibilities latent in Egyptian music predating the 1940s. Studying the Arabic maqam and delving into granular synthesis, she wrote her acclaimed debut album, 2017’s Ahwar, on a computer between Egypt and Canada, later giving it a lavish instrumental arrangement in collaboration with Maurice Louca and Sam Shalabi, both members of The Dwarfs of East Agouza with Alan Bishop and central figures in Cairo’s new wave. From its diabolically pitch-shifted vocal introduction through to brooding trip-hop beats, African jazz workouts, and lilting baglama expansions, Ahwar fulfills its title’s invocation of the marshlands, with El Shazly’s soaring voice as the listener’s guide through the unfamiliar. Accompanying El Shazly (vocals, buzuq, laptop, & keyboards) for her US debut will be Cherif El Masri (fretless guitar & synthesizers), Elsa Bergman (contrabass), and Konrad Angus (drums).

In Japanese folklore, Afuma indicates a time of day marked by spiritual or mysterious encounter. In Latin, one who inhales. Together as Afuma, Stefan Tcherepnin and Taketo Shimada breathe sepulchral energies into the brooding, cosmic fringes of guitar-based song vernacular. Tcherepnin’s baritone and Shimada’s lap steel guitar intertwine, smearing across world’s-end horizons that propel Tcherepnin’s ragged, foreboding vocal delivery and its lyrical portents of departure, of life’s vessel unmoored onto a fathomless periphery. Shimada, a Tokyo-born musician and artist who has lived with Herbert Huncke and worked with Henry Flynt, also contributes Indian double-reed instrument shehnai to the band. And Stefan Tcherepnin, a contemporary artist and composer in fourth generation (continuing the family heritage of his great-grandfather Nicholas, grandfather Alexander, and father Ivan Tcherepnin), embellishes their dirge-scapes with electronics from the Sonica, a lute shaped version of the Serge synthesizer developed by his uncle. Occasionally joined by drummer David Silver, Afuma make their recorded debut this year with the Songs from the Shore LP, forthcoming from Blank Forms Editions.

There are three steps at the main theater entrance, with a (non-ADA compliant) ramp at the loading area which can be used when needed. Brooklyn Music School is located two blocks away from the Fulton St G stop, three blocks away from the Lafayette Avenue AC stop, and three blocks away from the Atlantic Av – Barclays Ctr 2345BDNQRW stop. There are three steps at the main theater entrance, with a (non-ADA compliant) ramp at the loading area which can be used when needed. Please write at least three days before the event and we will make every effort to accommodate you.