When I am making music I am trying to bring myself into a different state of mind. I strive to be suspended above what is real. While doing this I am looking for contrasts such as sound versus no sound, lyricism versus chaotic noise, percussive notes versus long notes, and any kind of contrast I can imagine or feel. This way I am creating tension which keeps me interested in my egotistical occupation. For me it doesn’t really matter which instrument I am using, the one that gives me the widest palette of colors, or the one that fits a specific moment is the one I am going to use.
For me the electric Oud is exactly this palette. It is true that the Oud is an ancient middle eastern instrument that carries a long tradition on itself - but when you strip the Oud from its traditional role as a middle eastern instrument, which is embeded in middle eastern music, and pass it through a chain of effects, the Oud becomes modern and contemporary as any other modern instrument, but with an added flavor and identity. I love going back and forth between instruments as they give me different colors to express emotion. Wind instruments allow me to produce long and soulful tones, but also grotesque and distorted sounds - they are truly expressing the way we breath in the universe. The vibrations of strings or percussive instruments can manifest the pulse of life.
But eventually the instrument is only a tool through which we project our soul, and the real challenge is to feel free inside the boundaries of ourselves as humans and artists. The unbelievable beauty of life is that it gives us the privilege to feel and express emotion, especially through art that can contain almost anything and give us the ability to express our endlessly complex and nuanced intellect, imagination and feelings to produce beauty.
When working with artists that are not musicians, such as painters or dancers, I am always trying to escape the obvious which is dictated to me by what I “know” about music. I am constantly in a state of awareness trying to reflect through sound and music the associations and feelings I get from seeing what is happening around me, But also taking the lead when I need to.
When I started working with Alex Kremer on this project I felt immediately at home. Besides the fact that Alex is my cousin and I have known him all my life so we have almost a telepathic ability to communicate, he is also a great inspiration to me as an artist. Like him I am trying to make sense of were I begin and were I end and maybe like a circle the beginning and the end can be anywhere along the way. For me the search is for identity, the search of who I am as a musician, as an artist, and as a human being.