MazaJ Festival 2010

Festival Events

Festival Artists

Festival Credits



Main Events


Volatile Frequencies Conference
Thu 18 November from 9.30am at City University London, London


Volatile Frequencies Concert
Thu 18 November from 7.00pm at City University London, London


MazaJ Salon –
Recalibrating the Noise: is there a middle eastern sound art?

Sat 20 November from 5.30pm at Café Oto, London


Evening Concert at Café Oto
Sat 20 November from 8.00pm at Café Oto, London


Evening Concert at Café Oto
Sun 21 November from 7:00pm at Café Oto, London



Booking Information


Volatile Frequencies Conference: Free (Students) or £15 (inc. evening concert)


Volatile Frequencies Concert: £5


2 day MazaJ Festival pass:
£22 adv. only


Saturday MazaJ Salon: £5


Saturday MazaJ Concert:
£10 adv/£12 on the door


Sunday MazaJ Concert:
£10 adv/£12 on the door



Produced by


SAM (Sound and Music)
Zenith Foundation



Curated by


Zenith Foundation



Venue Partners


Cafe Oto
City University



Media Partner


The Wire



Supported by


LCACE (London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange)


Arts Council England



Volatile Frequencies
Volatile Frequencies: Topologies of Authority, Technology and Production in Contemporary Middle Eastern Music Practices
18th November 2010

Conference: 9:45-5pm

Concert: 7-9pm

City University London Post-graduate Conference and Concert
Supported by City University London and LCACE (London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange).
What kind of diverse practices might constitute an experimental Middle Eastern music? Are there points of relation to the regional orthodoxies? Is such a framing of new work relevant? Halim el Dabh, Ali Reza Mashayekhi, Muslimgauze, Mazen Kerbaj, Hassan Khan – new practitioners operate at the interface of cultural heritage and possible futures and an initial survey reveals a vibrant practice, emergent especially over the past ten years in centres such as Cairo and Beirut.
The Volatile Frequencies conference seeks to collate research that translates, mediates and frames practices specific to sonic disciplines (music, sound art, musicology) arising in relation to the Middle East and North Africa, and to critically connect with wider academic currents. It will emphasize current post-graduate research and scholarly approaches. A number of relevant contextualising works include the forthcoming The Arab Avantgarde edited by Thomas Burkhalter, Kay Dickinson and Ben Harbert, Steven Goodman’s Sonic Warfare, John Hutnyk’s Critique of Exotica and Laudan Nooshin’s Music and the Play of Power in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. The day proposes to formulate understandings and critical hearings of the debates within and without the region in relation to new sonic practices, prioritising practice that favours experimental and exploratory approaches.

Confirmed keynote speakers at Volatile Frequencies included:

John Hutnyk, Thomas Burkhalter, and Kay Dickinson

Evening Concert performances:

INCIDENCE by Hassan Khan
(stereo, 40 minutes)
Makharej by Seth Ayyaz (feat. Amira Ghazalla)
(multi-channel, live electronics and voice, 20 minutes)
Sonic Traces of the Arab World, by Norient (feat. Mazen Kerbaj and Sharif Sehnaoui)
(multi-media, trumpet, objects, guitar, live electronics, 40 minutes)

Download Day ScheduleVolatile Frequencies Timetable

Volatile Frequencies was in conjunction with the first edition of the MazaJ Festival of Experimental Middle Eastern Music. The MazaJ festival was co-produced by Zenith Foundation and SAM (Sound and Music), and supported by The Wire Magazine.


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