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|04.11.19||Faster Than Sound: Jackie Venson Solos by Rachel Rascoe (Austin Chronicle)|
Mike Khoury is an experimental composer, violinist/violist, and improviser deeply influenced by Detroit and Arab-diasporic musical traditions, but also works as a free improviser and as a member of the Redford Symphony. Trained as an economist, he applies quantitative approaches from Econometrics to his work as a musician, using strategies to analyze outcomes in compositional and performance settings. Working with artist and cultural activist Leyya Tawil, he has presented work inter/nationally in conversation with traditional folk concerns, political identity, and the Arab avant-garde.
In 2018, Arab.AMP officially launched from its home in Oakland, California. Arab.AMP is a platform for the work of Arab Experimentalists working in the region and its diasporas. Arab Experimentalism can be currently defined as a field that accumulates regional and diasporic realities and futures through transgressive arts practices. Arab.AMP celebrates the plurality of Arab voices operating in futurism, the Avant Garde and experimental live art. Our programming is in conversation with, and inclusive of, the work of other diasporas and indigenous communities. This nomadic platform works with partnering organizations to support its tours, commission and discourse.
A note from Fusebox:
The initial artist invited to perform at Fusebox Festival 2019, as part of the Arab.AMP platform, was multi-instrumentalist, Dirar Kalash. In early March 2019, we were informed that Dirar was denied an entry visa to the United Sates. The reasons given were, to say the least, unsatisfying. Considering our current government’s practice of unchecked discrimination against visitors from multiple countries, including Palestine, it is very clear that Dirar’s country of origin played a major factor in the decision not to grant him a visa. Dirar’s presence at our festival will be missed. Fusebox is grateful that his collaborator and colleague, artist Mike Khoury, who wrote an incredible essay on Dirar’s work for our 2019 Festival Catalogue, will be appearing in his stead.