On the second day of the festival my soul has been lifted away and taken to a land where passion is madness and sadness is essential. And the pianist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Bachar Mar-Khalifé is responsible for that. His music backgrounds were settled way back at home, in a family of famous musicians and a war-torn Lebanon. Now, being a France-based artist, Bachar´s musical palette is like a summer garden of mixed cultures, styles and musical patterns.
The song list was not long, as well as the time we had the pleasure to enchant ourselves with his music, but the quality was more than expected. Starting from heavy rhythms and accents that would wake you up from any daily concern, to soft classic piano solos with pleasant brief teasing interruptions. The fact that he was singing in his mother tongue gave it all the more power and passion. Mainly from the vibes of the tunes we understood the tragedy and gravity. The songs were dedicated to those who had died to soon, to refugees, and to love. But Kalife didn’t just stop at this cocktail of motifs, he used musical motifs as well to help us transcend further into the madness of his creation.
The contrast of styles was obvious, but smooth at the same time. One never knew how the song would end. For example, if it started with a classic piano solo it emerged into an explosion of an experimental electronic game, going further and further from the original vibe. The Arabic rhythms came in many ‘shapes’, like drum accents, the lyrics, or the atmosphere that he created. Mainly it felt like a state of trance, like music and like an idea, and then slid easily into groove tunes. Towards the end the songs were about love…erotic love. Another song was dedicated to Kalife’s homeland, or, as the artist commented, imaginary homeland. These, at the end were the most mystical, as I couldn’t quite recognise them either as electronic or ethno disco, or, moreover, as jazz. It was a really wonderful chaos, but it kept its purity in giving us the feeling of his heart and mind.
This musician didn’t need an encore, he had already made his message clear. The public was delirious, sweetly refreshed. I could still feel the euphoria while waiting for my coat. His chaos surely brought a certain serenity and ease upon us all.
Bachar Mar Khalife (Lebanon/France)
23rd April, Vaba Lava
Bachar Mar Khalife – vocals, keyboards
Aleksander Angelov – bass
Dogan Poyraz – drums
Check out the photos from the concert here