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It's not that the Fender and Gibson lines were crap, far from it. They simply weren't really guitars anymore: the electric pick-up made the instruments something other.The festivities commenced with the cosmopolitan quartet Mayas/Falb/Buck/Kern. Pianist Magda Mayas and her creative consort, percussionist Tony Buck are Irtijal habitues, though on this occasion Mayas was performing not on a prepared (read "pimped-out") baby grand but a stand-up piano – requiring her to kneel beneath the keyboard to get to the strings needed for the opening bits of the show.Piano and DJ flanked the percussionists.Common instruments aside, the drummers' techniques are nearly as disparate as those of Mayas and Kern, so this array made for some engaging complementarities -- the flanks providing a nest of organic ambience for the percussionists' unconventional scratching-thumping-cymbal crashing. Though neither Pauvros nor Sehnaoui can be accused of playing their instruments conventionally – the former is fond of bowing the strings and screaming into the pick-up, while the latter prefers tapping the strings with chopsticks and other shadier objects – their performances are entirely distinct from one another.
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An evening of Zar at Masrah al-Madina
A blind expedition into identity
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