Associated with the publication of a book and e-book “Akashic Diaries – Detroit Degree Zero and Other crisis writings” coming out this Spring from Europia (Paris) by American-Lebanese poet/performer/director Biba Sheikh, the Belgian sound artists Paradise Sonore and Didié Nietszche (alias A Limb) have sounded several texts read by the author, excerpts from his new book.
An album in progress entitled “Akashic Diaries” – resulting from these transatlantic sonopoetic collaborations, will be, initially, published in May on the bandcamp of the alter label Transonic (produced by Transcultures) then a CD should be released in summer to accompany a reading tour of the author.
This residence will allow to complete this collaborative sonopoetic album.
Akashic Diaries project | Book + sonopoetic creation
These burning/moving texts are left raw, and are poetic fragments, and sketches, nourished by the visions and experiences of Biba Sheikh, nomadic writer and artist of Lebanese American origin living now in Detroit. This akashic journal (from the Sanskrit, Akasha – the unwritten history, the hidden meaning) began during the lockdown of 2020. However, the texts within
these pages bridge into various poetic entries and styles, written sometimes from the shocking events (including the murder of Georges Floyd) which divided American
society and stunned the world. There is also a fictional text written after a visit to Oxford High School, a few days after the tragic shooting. Some entries are meant as acts of healing, while
Detroit Degree Zero and others are signs of planetary breakdown.
The book also has a section of some older powerful writings, between fragmentation of being and a new possible horizon.
An Internet link / QR code at the end of this hybrid publication gives access to the sonopoetic album “Akashic Diaries” (on the Transonic label) of texts written and read by Biba Sheikh set to music by Paradise Now in collaboration with A Limb.
Habibah (Biba) Sheikh (Lb/USA)
Habibah Sheikh began studying mime with Marcel Marceau in Paris and later with members of the Polish Laboratory Theater of Jerzy Grotowski. She developed vocal work in relation to voice anthropologist, Jorge Lopez, who researched singing methods from indigenous tribes of south america. She has a nomadic existence and has gathered inspiration for her storytelling & performance art from a number of different cultures: USA, Paris, Sevilla (with the Gypsy/Roma population), Berlin, Amsterdam, Beirut, and Greece. Habibah lovingly says that Greece is her place of catharsis. There she set up a platform with 13 artists from the Mediterranean, who make visual works based on her stories and theater pieces, which she began writing during her journey with vulnerable populations with the “abandoned children” of Lebanon. After the war left these young people alone, Habibah felt a strong responsibility in order to help them find their voices through storytelling platforms.
The project titled, “Mitli Mitlak (Like You, Like Me)” is a visual and literary exhibition, and theatre production where art- works are based on the theater scripts of ‘Right To Live, as well as Mitli Mitlak. It is produced by Habibah’s global arts company, Mediterranean Fire Studio, in collaboration with the Third Avenue Playhouse, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. January-March 2019 and taken place at N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit 2018. Central Michigan University Art Gallery, 2019, Miller Art Museum, Wisconsin, 2019, Peeler Art Center, Depauw Indiana, 2020. Sponsors include the National Endowment for the Arts, The State of Wisconsin, and other business sponsors.
She has a series of writings related to the Civil War of Lebanon, Syrian Refugee plights, Andalusian Gypsies, and the Greek Crisis.
Her work is featured in the film, ‘Citizen Xenos’, by Lucas Paleocrassas, which follows life in refugee camps, where refugees, engaged in theater and voice workshops, express what they had endured. She is devoted to vocal interpretation, acting, and poetic text. The physical and vocal interpretations are further accentuated by years of personal Flamenco study.
Currently, the theater production, ‘I Am the Small Seed’ was developed in an Art Residency at the Born Global Foundation. Musical segments are in collaboration with sound artist Paradise Now (Fr/Be). It provides Habibah Sheikh the possibility to devise a unique method of storytelling and theater, where a game-like structure contains healing acts, and can be performed by actors and non actors alike. It has been performed in Lebanon, Scotland, and the USA. She is currently writing, performing and producing, ‘Nomadic Poetic Stories (How I Opened My Heart Through the Extinction of Mime, the Miracles in Paris, and Meetings With a Mysterious Man, Across the World)’ featuring Chinese musician Xia Dong Wei.
Her recent book, “Akashic Diaries: Detroit Degree Zero and Other Crisis Writings’ will be released in 2023 on Europia (Paris). It will be accompanied by a music/poetry album comprising recitations and vocalizations of the identical texts, in collaboration with sound artist/producer Paradise Now.
Didié Nietzsche is a Belgian musician involved in numerous sound and audiovisual projects (he also makes videos) and interdisciplinary endeavors, whose common denominator could be an art of metamorphosis and collaborative adventure. Above all, these projects are an opportunity for him to experiment and expand his chromatic audio palette. He oscillates between electro, jazz metal, ambient tones with the reactivity and adaptability of improvisation that he knows how to dose according to collaborations and contexts.
From his early experiences with Radio Prague in the 1980s to the Paradise Now project (with which he recently released an EP), to the multidisciplinary improv collective LAMAφ (with which he performs in the streets of Brussels), Didié Nietzsche adapts and tries to always maintain a certain accessibility to his organic works.
With his solo project A Limb, he has been active in recent years through numerous collaborations. He is also very active within the multiverse communities where he regularly performs alongside other electro-creative avatars, and also organizes various events, including recently the Transonic Second Life Sessions & Festival, an event supported by Transcultures and the European Creation Nurseries, bringing together international audio and multimedia artists.
Intermedia producer and creator based in Belgium, Philippe Franck has developed since the 90s the Paradise Now project which favors an actively transversal and collaborative approach. He favors a sensitive and cinematic approach that embraces different influences and fields (electronics, sound art, post-rock, post-pop, improvised music …).
He has worked closely with various videographers (Régis Cotentin, Hanzel & Gretzel), poets (Ira Cohen, Gerard Malanga, Catrine Godin, Biba Sheikh, Werner Moron in Les ours bipolaires, Eric Therer for the project & Stuff), choreographers (Nadine Ganase , Manon Oligny, Karine Ledoyen), digital artists (Philippe Boisnard, Franck Soudan, Jacques Urbanska, Thomas Israël) and other adventurous audio creators (recently Christophe Bailleau within the duo Pastoral, Gauthier Keyaerts in Supernova, Stephan Dunkelman, Maurice Charles JJ, A Limb).
Since 2005, he has also collaborated with holistic performer / masseuse Isa Belle for a series of installations and “sound” performances shown in numerous festivals, cultural centers and international events. He has also produced and participated in several records on various independent labels (Sub Rosa, Optical Sound, Transonic…). In 2022, he began a doctoral thesis in Information and Communication Sciences (Cognition, language, interaction) at the University of Paris 8 (CiTu Paragrahe), under the dual supervision of Khaldoun Zreik (Paris8) and Marc Veyrat (University of Savoie Mont Blanc).
- 14 > 17.04.2023
- Transonic Lab Mons (Be)
- Transcultures, European Pepinieres of Creation
- In partnership with Europia Productions, Mediterranean Fire Studio
- Background Banner : Hadith-El-Layl – Modify perspective