Overview

In November 2017, Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) launches the SAF Music Programme with a residency and concert by El Foukr R’Assembly. The work of this music and film ensemble hailing from Algeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast draws inspiration from the cultural expression of North and Sub-Saharan Africa and heralds a new sound with the group’s interpretation of genres such as Gnawa, Algerian Rai, Saharan Sufi, Afro-Salsa, Ghanaian Highlife and Burkinabe Mandingue.

As artists-in-residence in the SAF Music Programme, El Foukr R’Assembly will lead a series of education and community-engagement initiatives that have grown out of conversations between the group and Sharjah Art Foundation. The residency will culminate in El Foukr R’Assembly’s GCC debut concert on Saturday, 18 November. SAF’s Education, Community and Outreach, and Music Programmes will also offer a number of workshops, food stalls and other outdoor activities on that day in parallel with the concert.

Programme

Monday, 13 November–Friday, 17 November
Workshop for Musicians, Composers and Writers
Arranging Compositions with El Foukr R’Assembly

Tuesday, 14 November
Meet El Foukr R’Assembly

Wednesday, 15 November
Workshop
The Many We — Storytelling and Oral Traditions

Thursday, 16 November
Seminar
Conceiving and Producing Artistic Projects — Fundraising, Dissemination and Sustainability

Saturday, 18 November
El Foukr R’Assembly Concert Performance and SAF Music Programme Launch Activities

El Foukr R’Assembly Concert
7:30 pm
Mirage City Cinema, Al Mureijah Square

For more details please click here

Registration

Registration is required for El Foukr R’Assembly’s seminar and storytelling workshop. To obtain further information or register, please email education@sharjahart.org.

Those who have compositions and wish to join the workshop Arranging Compositions with El Foukr R’Assembly must submit an application via email to education@sharjahart.org by Tuesday, 31 October 2017.

Download application form.

About El Foukr R’Assembly

Through music, documentary film, collaboration and travel, El Foukr R’Assembly explore notions of ‘Africanity’ and the intersection of cultural roots and contemporary musical genres. Their objective is to promote independent cultural production between North Africa and the continent’s other regions.

Having met in Algeria in 2014 and formed a band, El Foukr R’Assembly recorded their debut EP album, Look South, in a makeshift studio on the edge of the northern Sahara Desert. The album was released in October 2016 and its making captured in a short documentary available on the band’s website. After a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2015, El Foukr R’Assembly headed to Ghana for a three-week project and tour. There, having grown from four to eight members, the ensemble performed in venues and festivals around the country and collaborated with other artists and performers to address themes of belonging, youth mobility and post-colonial legacies. Their second EP album, Accra Affair, a result of their time in Ghana, will be released in autumn 2017.

In 2016, El Foukr R’Assembly undertook a residency on the east coast of the United States. Working with ethnomusicologist and jazz musician Colter Harper, they gave a host of concerts and workshops between New York and Pennsylvania and held recording sessions featuring both Harper and spoken word artist Langston Kelly Human DJ. Together with their two US counterparts, the band concluded the year with a tour in Algeria. Currently, El Foukr R’Assembly are based in Ivory Coast.

El Foukr R’Assembly is the first project developed by the Tunisia-based Afreekyama Record Label, which also has operations in West Africa. The record label is managed by Afreekyama Multimedia Production, a collaborative platform dedicated to photography, multimedia storytelling and music production. Its founders are multimedia authors, filmmakers and producers Oualid Khelifi and Selim Harbi.

About the SAF Music Programme

SAF has worked with a wide range of composers and musicians on a number of projects, including Ryoji Ikeda’s performance of datamatics [ver.2.0], alva noto (Carsten Nicolai) and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s performance of Univrs (uniscope version) and Tarek Atoui’s composition WITHIN. SAF has also hosted concerts by Dimi Mint Abba, Amino Belyamani, Yusef Lateef and Maalem Abdelkébir Merchane. Past musical shows have mostly been produced as part of Sharjah Biennial, March Meeting or other exhibitions.

The SAF Music Programme will present performance events such as concerts, workshops, discussion sessions and open mics. Its mission is to provide an accessible platform for both new talent and established artists to perform and connect and to encourage community members to cultivate an interest in music. The Programme seeks particularly to foster local and regional musical experimentation through support of UAE and MENASA-based artists. All Music Programme events will be free and open to the public.