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Carl Gari & Abdullah Miniawy
livesession at Haus der Kunst Munich, 2021

For the group’s performance at the 2021 edition of Rewire Festival in The Hague, which took place both online and offline, they enlisted the talents of multimedia artist and filmmaker Justin Urbach to create a special live documentation of a unique live performance. Combining performance footage with cinematic elements, Urbach guides us through different scenarios, each accompanying a different track. “Most of the pieces performed are unreleased,” explains Jonas Yamer. “I like the idea that the director had a special camera idea for each track. The work is in many ways more a film with a narrative and a concept than just a filmed live performance. We will also release the recording as a live album on my label Molten Moods.” According to Urbach, “the project tries to combine a live session with an approach of media art and experimental film. It deals with the architecture of the space and also with the lyrics and gives the viewer a new perspective on how to listen to music and trying to intent it in the visual aspect.” “What I felt excited about was having two rooms, one white the other black,” says Till Funke. “It’s like a bipolar setting, maximum contrast, with all the psychological, aesthetic but maybe also political associations this may bring about. We were lucky to have a director with some cinematic touch, who can also tell a story. This video feels like a movie with a narrative. There’s certainly some drama in there.” Combining experimental camera techniques, surreal props such as a treadmill and a construction crane, as well as projections and inventive lighting design, Urbach captures a cinematic portrait of the artists that translates the conceptual energy of their recordings into a sequence of vignettes that stay with the viewer long after the credits have rolled. 

Egyptian poet, singer and artist Abdullah Miniawy has been collaborating with Carl Gari for close to five years, debuting back in 2016 on The Trilogy Tapes with Darraje, before releasing The Act Of Falling From The 8th Floor to critical acclaim in 2019 on AD93. A highly conceptual project, the six-track release saw Miniawy coming together with the German trio, made up of musicians Jonas Yamer, Till Funke and Jonas Friedlich, to respond to a poem that describes the poet jumping from the eighth floor of a building in Cairo. As he falls, he describes what he sees on each of the building’s balconies, building a fatalist portrait of Egyptian society under the brutal Al-Sisi regime. The result is an immensely difficult, yet hauntingly beautiful, collection of songs, with Carl Gari providing devastating sonic architecture for Miniawy’s unflinching testimonial.


Carl Gari & Abdullah Miniawy – Live @ Haus der Kunst

Credits: Director – Justin Urbach / First Assistant Director – Nele Urbach / Gimbal Operator – Henri Nunn

Colour Grading – Khoi Chau / Mixing & Mastering – Johannes Wagner / Actor – Damian Rebgetz


Premiered at Rewire Festival, 2021

Performed at Haus der Kunst, Munich

Interview by Factmag

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