‘Sound & Fiction’ in Bahrain to explore region’s independent music scene

Sound & Fiction will address topics including the importance of community building. (Supplied)
Updated 22 November 2019

‘Sound & Fiction’ in Bahrain to explore region’s independent music scene

  • Sound & Fiction aims to shed light on the local and regional music scene through a program of talks, panels, workshops and film screenings
  • Sound & Fiction will run from December 5 to 7 at Bait Al Salmaniya and the Alliance Francaise

MANAMA: Fearing the deterioration of Bahrain’s music scene, the guys who launched Museland back in 2006 are staging a three-day conference, which will include live performances, to begin the fight back.

Running from December 5 to 7 at Bait Al Salmaniya and the Alliance Francaise, Sound & Fiction aims to shed light on the local and regional music scene through a program of talks, panels, workshops and film screenings to community activities and live sets. And, best of all, it’s free and open to all.




Galaxy Juice will attend the event. (Instagram)

Conference director and founder, Ali Al-Saeed, told Arab News: “Sound & Fiction is a response to the current trends in the local music scene. I felt there was a desperate need for an alternative forum, one that will delve into the often-neglected aspects of music. My philosophy has always been to deinstitutionalize the arts, and music is no different. 

The event will bring together artists, experts, producers and musicians from Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the USA, including US artist Christopher the Conquered, Paxico Records founder Chris Hudd, Kuwaiti psychedelic rock outfit Galaxy Juice, the Bahraini Khaleeji electronica duo Arabstract, experimental sound artist Hasan Hujairi, and more.




Experimental sound artist Hasan Hujairi will be at the event. (Supplied)

Sound & Fiction will address topics including the state of the music scene in the region, the importance of community building, developing an original voice as an artist, and the rise of Arab hip-hop.

“We might have a scene, but we don't have a movement,” Al-Saeed said. “A few years ago, we didn't even have a scene. Museland (record label and all-round music collective founded by Al-Saeed) helped create one, when it began over 12 years ago. But there's been a big shift, as more corporate and commercial influences took hold. We just need to refocus, collectively, and make things about the music again.

“Evolving the music scene only happens when there is a thriving music community that is independent, and critical,” he continued. “It's time for musicians to ask big questions. This conference aims to simply create an alternate narrative, and offer a different perspective.” 


Arab movies to debut at Toronto International Film Festival

Updated 03 August 2020

Arab movies to debut at Toronto International Film Festival

DUBAI: Organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) have released a new lineup of 50 movies for screening at this year’s event including a number of Arabic flicks.

Egyptian filmmaker Mayye Zayed’s “Ash Ya Captain” (“Lift Like a Girl”), an intimate journey into the life of an aspiring athlete, will premiere at the 45th edition of the festival, due to take place between Sept. 10 and 20.

Also featured will be Palestinian filmmaking twins Tarzan and Arab Nasser’s “Gaza Mon Amour,” a satire on love and desire. The brothers’ second feature film, it tells the tale of a 60-year-old fisherman who is secretly in love with a market dressmaker. As the story unfolds, the fisherman discovers an ancient Greek statue that will trouble him.

British director Ben Sharrock’s “Limbo” will see Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry star as a Syrian asylum-seeker who finds himself living on a small Scottish island.

Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry stars in British director Ben Sharrock’s “Limbo.” (Toronto International Film Festival)

Meanwhile, American director Spike Lee’s film version of David Byrne’s hit Broadway show “American Utopia” will open at the event which will be capped off by American-Indian director Mira Nair’s “A Suitable Boy.”

In addition, there will be showings of Iranian directors Manijeh Hekmat’s “Bandar Band” and Farnoosh Samadi’s “180 Degree Rule.”

Most screenings will take place virtually due to government restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Cameron Bailey, TIFF’s artistic director, said in a released statement: “We began this year planning for a festival much like our previous editions, but along the way we had to rethink just about everything.

“This year’s line-up reflects that tumult. The names you already know are doing brand-new things this year, and there’s a whole crop of exciting new names to discover.”

The full schedule of the festival will be released on Aug. 25.