For all the crises, Beirut’s international connections continue to grow. Next up is an extensive residency-exchange project, starting in Berlin this week and returning to Beirut later this month. And that’s an excuse to give you some music to check out.

Happy hour is here. Image of Riwaq space, our partner in Beirut.

Exchange program

BEIRUT x BERLIN is an exchange residency assembled by Your Mom’s Agency, with the support of Goethe-Institut Libanon, Elektron, Moog Music, and Orchestral Tools.

Here’s the full breakdown – and glad I get to participate in this myself; expect some reports on what’s happening!


April 7, Bimm Institute Berlin: Elyse Tabet and Anthony Sahyoun master class. They’ll talk about the music scene in Lebanon and the region, then dive into low-cost techniques for music-making shared from their own practice. (Private)

April 8 – Werkstatt construction at Moog Berlin HQ. Elyse + Anthony join the Moog crew and build some Werkstatt instruments (now discontinued, so that’s a big deal)! (Private)

April 8 – live jam at Moog (Zenia and I will join this one).


April 19 – 21 – Free workshops – A Dive Into Sounds and Samples with Zeina Azouqah + Creative Instability with Peter Kirn, Riwaq Beirut

April 21 – Live show with Zazuka and myself, MIM Minerals Museum
Followed by open DJ decks afterparty at Riwaq.

May/worldwide – We’ll be releasing a sound pack of sounds of bats, produced in consultation with urban ecologist Julia Lorenz here in Berlin. (We’re also weaving this into our live shows, a reflection of the natural lives of our cities – yeah, Berlin has a ton of bats, as we learned – apparently Beirut, too!)

Elektron, Moog, and Orchestral Tools are all helping provide resources we can share with Beirut’s music producers, including at the Beirut Synthesizer Center. (See a reminder of the story I did on them.)

Find all the details here:

The artists and mixes

Hopefully, we have a few readers in Beirut picking up on the news. But for the rest of you, I’m glad to get to introduce you to the artists virtually. Expect some more as I get to hang out with this crew, but here’s a first meet-and-greet and some music to hear!

Me, you know. So our other artists as part of the program:

Elyse Tabet: AV live performer and expert technician, DJ, arts instructor in higher education, community organiser, and co-founding member of the Beirut Synthesizer Center. She’s hugely diverse in her practice, too, tons of great stuff. Just one beautiful piece, made with metal-plate percussion instruments triggering a modular, from Lebanon’s storied Irtijal festival (which is just completing its 2022 edition now):

As Syrphe described it, her music is like a “machine running out of power.” Recording as Litter for the amazing Syrphe:

Here’s her new mix as part of the project, on LA’s dublab. With (in order) LCY, Liliane Chelala, Aya Metwalli, Anthony Sahyoun, Pessimist, Ziad Moukarzel, Sary Moussa, Yara Asmar, Jad Atoui, 33EMYBW, Sarah Huneidy, Fadi Tabbel & Ziad Sahab, Sherif Sehnaoui & Jawad Nawfal, Bana Haffar, Tony Rolando, General Order 1, and AQOB.

Anthony Sahyoun: guitar and electronic musician, composer for films and installations, producer at Tunefork Studios, and programmer of acoustic elements electronic processor to be premiered at the residency.

Anthony is another extraordinary musician, from starting instrument rock band Kinematik in Reyfoun, Lebanon, to his more recent work, under Mme Chandelier and now this vital release from late last year:

Here’s his mix for Reboot FM:

Set list:

Jessica Moss – Contemplation II
Malayeen – Fifi
Fennesz – Before I Leave
Mhamad Safa – Arctic Archipelago OST
TEDTEDTED – (unreleased)
Mhamad Safa & Anthony Sahyoun
June As
ZULI – Keen Demag
Jad Atoui – Alpha 60 v2
Bana Haffar – Genera V
Mazen El Sayed & Jawad Nawfal – Step Lightly
Aya Metwalli – In Memoriam
Maurice Louca – Yara’ (Fire Flies)
Sandy Chamoun – Siret El Ro3eb
Tony Elieh – It’s Good to Die Every Now And Then
Marc Codsi – Empty Resonany Shells
Fadi Tabbal – Phosphorus 1
Benoit Pouillard – Zenava
Sary Moussa – Distance
Balegh Hamdi – Alfi Leyla we Layla

Zeina Azouqah aka Zazuka: Circassian performer from Jordan, soundpack specialist for Orchestral Tools, Native Instruments, and Steinberg, producer, film scorer, and music teacher.

Here’s not only her music but also a self-produced, handmade stop-motion video to accompany (and check her other albums also on her artist page on Bandcamp):

I’ve done a mix, as well – this one going fully global and eclectic, from Lebanon to Ukraine, Mexico to Armenia to Detroit, as we all try to stay together these days:

Peter Kirn – [unreleased]
Jad Atoui & Jawad Nawfal – Reading 1
Zoë Mc Pherson – Bound to Spill
Mazen Kerbaj – Mazen’s Trumpet
ZULI – Keen Demag
Zhvykh – Ecology
Uge Pañeda – Kýpros
Cristian Vogel – Hyphaedelity
Konakov – Still Don’t Sleep
Sote – Neo Fatal Technology
Moa Pillar – Timelike Curve
Abadir – Blurred
Heinali – Beatrice
Bryozone – Smoothy Flow
Prettybwoy – SLT (Mr Mitch remix feat. Miles)
Microhm.- Combustion
hironori nagatsuma – Diffus Reflektion
Bora – She’s so Celestial
DJ Stingray 313 – Construction Materials From Organic Waste
I s – Այն ժամանակ ինչպես հիմա
Peter Kirn – Human Mutations

More events worldwide

I’m really excited and encouraged by what’s happening, too, with a network of festivals – Beirut’s international Itrijal is now in its third decade and had an incredible lineup. Cyprus hosts Breach Festival next, with Cedrik Fermont, Thomas Ankersmit, “A” Trio, Duo Aplomb, Agga-Gaga, Sharif Sehnaoui , Marina Tantanozi and Andria Nicodemou, and more, 5 and 6 April.

Palestinian Exist Festival just headed to Greece; that looked terrific.

And then via Cedrik I also hear about the cross-border discussions happening in Athens, also drawing on this network and more collaboration internationally:

Borderline Festival in Athens will take place from 8 and 10 April (with Duo Moment, Thomas Ankersmit, Rojin Sharafi, Sofia Zafeiriou, Cedrik Fermont & Elyse Tabet, MC Yallah & Debmaster, Gabber Modus Operandi, Passport, With You & Sharif Sehnaoui, Radio Tweets (Ute Wassermann & Birgit Ulher) and many more ; I will give a three days workshop and there will also be several discussion panels like the following one (related to the one we already had in Kurdistan last December) : Curating Across Borders – a discussion panel with Sharif Sehnaoui (Irtijal Festival, Beirut), Hardi Kurda (Space21, Kurdistan), Michalis Moschoutis (Borderline Festival, Athens), and Cedrik Fermont (Syrphe platform).

Read up on that cross-border curation discussion here; this seems important now more than ever:

I know Cedrik is also doing a huge project on artists from various world diasporas.

Space 21 looks amazing, too:

I’ll also be part of an event in Beirut on April 15 that sounds exciting, but – seems we don’t quite have information to share yet, stay tuned!

Previous coverage of the Beirut Synthesizer Center: