A guitarist braced on his guitar, with a “fury of life” tendency (Baptiste Ferrandis), a singer with a clear timbre whose voice mutates into clamor when she picks up a megaphone (Climène Zarkan), a powerful trombonist (Robinson Khoury ). Music with addictive trance effects and then peaceful moments where the song bewitches, fluid and tender, almost diaphanous. Seeing Sarab (“mirage” in Arabic) perform on stage – with drummer Paul Berne, bassist Timothée Robert and keyboardist Thibault Gomez – as they did in Marseille at the Babel Music XP festival in March, is an experience that one can come out astray. Overall not unpleasant feeling.
Unclassifiable sextet of thirty-year-olds from the Ile-de-France, Sarab presents, Wednesday April 12, at New Morning in Paris, then on tour in several festivals, his new EP five titles Qawalebese Tape, recorded at the end of 2022 at Ferber studios. It follows Arwah Hurrah, their second album (2021). Playing on contrasts, the hybridization of genres, mixing free jazz, sharp rock and oriental lyricism, Sarab is delighted to not be able to be placed in a family. The “elusive” side suits them. “We want to lock ourselves into nothing. We all listen to very different music.”, ensures the guitarist, Baptiste Ferrandis. Sarab’s sound is a collective work in which everyone brings their part, their influences, their intuitions. “We don’t put up any barriers. It can be extreme, radical things. We are not trying to smooth them out, to simplify them. »
Attachment to the Arabic language
Baptiste Ferrandis and Climène Zarkan are at the initiative of this adventure, which began as a couple, in 2019. Born in Paris to a Franco-Lebanese mother and a Syrian father, the singer grew up in Syria until the age of 12, before returning to Paris. “Sing in Arabicshe explains, it is for me to keep this bond which is dear to me. » Like taking up alongside his own texts the verses of the Syrian poet Maram Al-Masri, exiled in France. Like those in the poem I want the world to knowplaced in opening and subtitle of Qawalebese Tape, the last stanza of which says: “I want the world to know / Every time I fell / I got up / And every time I died / I rose again. »
It is also this attachment to the Arabic language that makes him seize Yally shaghalt al bal, (“the one who occupies my thoughts”) present on the previous disc and which she takes up on stage, a song composed by Mohamed El Asabgy, on words by the poet Ahmed Rami, which had been sung by Oum Kalsoum (1898-1975) . Climène Zarkan was a valuable initiator for Baptiste Ferrandis when they both met in Paris. Fan of Django Reinhardt (1910-1953), he had also played metal in another life. “She made me discover and listen to Arabic classical music. I took a good slap and I really went into it all the way, it opened up a lot of paths for me to explore. » He has since, he points out, “a real thing with oriental music”. A fine example of an accomplice transmission that has paid off damn well.
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