+Aziz seeks to do for Middle Eastern indie music what the Velvet Underground did for rock and roll: create performance art. On June 21-22 at New York’s Hotel Particulier, +Aziz and a group of musicians will draw upon music, ambient sounds, and theater to take his audience on a journey through Middle Eastern culture. In doing so, they’ll share in a tradition established by artists such as the Velvets, Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno, and Peter Gabriel: daring an audience instead of entertaining them.
In fact, the Kuwaiti songwriter and indie musician revels in the prospect of liberating music from what he perceives to be the strictures of entertainment. He rejects music glorified on mainstream Arab media, which he derisively refers to as “plastic surgery pop.” Instead, he seeks to synthesize natural sounds with music and cultural flourishes from the Middle East, such as the use of incense to enrich a performance. He will also perform three songs in Arabic (and provide translations). Also, catering will be provided by taïm, a falafel food truck.
The performance, titled UNCOLLECTABLE, is part of a larger project developed by +Aziz alongside ArteEast, an arts nonprofit focusing on contemporary Middle Eastern art. Those interested in a discussion of Middle Eastern sound art can find a published eMagazine on ArteEast’s website. Part Two consists of the June performance. And then Part Three will consist of an art exhibit from June 20-July 10 at Hotel Particulier in Soho.
+Aziz will draw upon his passion for music and cultural trend spotting (he works at brand strategy firm FATHOM + HATCH and is a regular contributor to PSFK) to fulfill his vision for synthesizing culture and music.