A minimalistic improvisation by Lebanese trumpeter Mazen Kerbaj 'duetting' with the Israeli Air Force as it bombards Mazen's home city of Beirut. Recorded by Kerbaj on the balcony of his flat in Beirut on the night of 15/16 July 2006.
Mazen Kerbj is the lynchpin of the nasant Lebanonese impro scene. This piece of sound art was recorded from the balcony of his flat in Beirut. This duet is between Kerbj extreme trumpet playing and the sound of the Israeli Air Force as it bombards his home city on the night of 15/16th July 2006.
Kerbj use of the trumpet stretches the sound palate of the instrument. This is not playing in the sense of melody or rhythm. The trumpet is used as a source of sounds without recourse to traditional methods. Scraps, clunks, blown air, pops and whacks are the order of the night. The timbres that the trumpet produces sound as if they have been passed through a series of electronic filters but Kerbaj is infamous for the range of sounds he can draw from his instrument. On Rouba3i his playing covers similar non treated realms. The friction of the metal itself, the possibilities of tonal and texture nature of the sounds are explored.
For all the sound mining and avant garde nature of the Kerbj’s performance it’s the backing track that catches your attention. The sound of aircraft, exploding bombs (some distant, some terrorifly close), post dentionaon sirens, dog barks, car alarms an eerie silences. It’s a six minute trip into the hellish heart of a war zone. The sound of violence. Ultra Red’s attempts to explore acoustic space as enunciative of social relations ripped open by warfare. The Fire This Time unfolding in a live environment.
After listening to the track on a loop for over an hour I found sleep difficult to achieve but that must be nothing compared to the nightmare of those living in Beirut. I do not have the power or the language skills to describe the power of this piece. Download it and let the impact flow through you.