Between East and West
"You have travelled the earth, to its most remote places, but we, we leave one space to enter another." - K. Gibran
The Belgian-Moroccan singer Laïla Amezian, familiar to us from such groups as Arabanda, has constructed a musical world of her own out of her Maghribean roots and the confrontation with Western culture. One of its features is complete openness to every possible sound, genre and instrument. She draws the inspiration for her latest project, Bast, from the philosophical story The Prophet (1923) by the Christian-Arabian painter and poet Khalil Gibran (1883-1931). He was born in the Lebanon but emigrated to the United States, and he too was drawn back and forth between East and West, trying to capture the thinking and the mysticism of both cultures.
Bast is a Persian word that refers to an old custom in which one might take refuge in a sanctuary to engage in passive resistance, but without fearing for one’s life. In Bast, Laïla Amezian interprets music as a sanctuary, a place of freedom, and a place from which one can create.
Amezian has distilled short poems from the original English version of Khalil Gibran’s book and also from the Arabic translation, and has transformed them into melodious songs. The cistre player Michael Grébil then arranged the songs.
Bast is a human and musical quest for the balancing point between East and West, the point where tradition, jazz, contemporary music, post-rock and electro enter into an unrestricted combination with each other.
composition, text adaptation & artistic direction Laïla Amezian
score Michaël Grébil
musical direction Laïla Amezian, Michaël Grébil & Erwin Vann
line-up Laïla Amezian (vocals), Erwin Vann (saxophone & electronics), Michaël Grébil (electric guitar, electric bass, oud, cistre d'amour & electronics), Lode Vercampt (cello), Stephan Pougin (drums & percussions)
sound engineering Patrice Hardy
lights Frank Vandezande (Kaaitheater)
supported by the Flemish Community & the Flemish Community Commission (VGC)