Lebanon-based media entertainment company, Balkoon, have announced a new video series combining the beauty of Cercle’s geographically astonishing sets and the stripped down performances of MTV’s Unplugged. Cube Sessions comes with political undertones, conceptualised as a way to think about the oppression and restrictions that hamper progress in the Middle East, thus pushing the content further into the realm of art installation or concept performance piece.
“This mix of cultures and identities have often been used to create borders across the region whereas music and art have defied this,” said co-founder and producer at Balkoon, Dany Chamoun. “They are expressed freely and allow us to connect and relate with each other.”
The show, which is created in collaboration with Lebanese musician, Zeid Hamdan, and ‘backforward’, will feature a whole host of prominent Arab artists such as Muhammad Abdullah from El Morabba3 (Palestine/Jordan), Adonis (Lebanon), Zeid Hamdan (Lebanon), Lynn Adib (Syria), Tanjaret Daghet (Syria) and more, with each performing an original track inside the real and metaphorical framed neon cube in beautiful locations of their choosing. “The performances are live, soulful, one-take, unedited, fair and square,” Hamdan, who plays the role of producer and supervisor for Cube Sessions, said. “[It's] shot in their purest form of expression, everything I love about our regional music scene concentrated in a cube!”
With Cube Sessions, Balkoon aim to frame the Middle Eastern music scene in the best light possible (pun intended) to an international audience. “It’s time to create content that literally frames our most original, authentic and relevant artists all around this incredibly diverse and versatile region as opposed to mediocre unrepresentative commercial exports,” co-founder and director at Balkoon, Samah El Kadi, added.
On May 8th, Cube Sessions launched its first mesmerising episode featuring Muhammad Abdullah from El Morabba3 with an exclusive acoustic version of a song from his first solo album, Cigara Qabel Ma Nqoom.