Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Music Project by Bani Haykal

B-Quartet's Bani Haykal's latest project addresses a form of musical stasis found in globalized / modern Asia, particularly Singapore.

Bani explains what the project is about: Presently, I am still working on several music systems. and I feel that for most of it, as an experiment it will never be complete without being thoroughly practical about it. and the week to happen at The Substation Gallery, is the time and place where i would like to introduce and have these systems tested out.

A time for interaction amongst everyone. Dialogues act as a bridge between workshops and recording sessions. Both invited participants and audiences are encouraged to engage in conversations about each other's practices, if not opinion on music / culture / society etc. These dialogues widen the depth of the project, so expect to hear various thoughts and upcoming works from various participants.

Workshops will act as an interaction point between musicians and the music systems at hand. Whilst I will introduce each workshop with the systems I've been working on, ideally, after that, you will have the time to reconstruct, redefine, deconstruct it to your understanding. The idea is that I'd like to see how the systems could be further experimented with, further explored in your understanding, your music.

Live recording sessions 
The main highlight of this project. these sessions involve both invited musicians and the audience. whomever interested is invited to participate in an improv recording session. unexpected results makes me a lot more curious than those expected ones.

The three systems that I'm working on are:

1. Lateral Narratives
Lateral narratives is an expression borne out of the age of information we're presently in. I seek to express how billions of information are being transmitted and shared every day and amidst this storm, how then does an individual form truth for oneself? As every piece of information is taken in or absorbed, these chunks of "truths" aids in piecing up a person, enabling one to construct or perceive reality in their own understanding. Constructing lateral narratives is just like that; providing as much information within a time period and allowing the reader / listener / user their own time and space to reconstruct truth as they see fit.

2. Improvised Overtures
Improvised overtures is a system to "control" improvisation. performing improvised overtures would mean to already have a completed song written, yet each section of a song can be pulled apart and reconstructed by each individual musician. For instance, a guitarist who's playing a series of chords in one section will, during an improvised overture, perform the same series of chords, even if it means deconstructing it, in any rhythm / pattern, basically improvising with the pre-written presets.

3. Hyperpentatonics
Hyperpentatonics is a musical scale, although still in progress, which is an expression reflecting modern Singapore. It is a hybrid of the pentatonic, which is quite prevalent in Asian music, and the 12 tones of the musical scale. There's a formula I developed to create the hyperpentatonic scale and using this scale, traditions such as major and minor scales are no longer valid. In other words, song writing or composition takes on an alternative light, where it is mostly based on numbers instead of relying on major / minor etc

You are invited to attend dialogues / workshops and live recording sessions at The Substation Gallery with other musicians / artists and thinkers. 

If you are interested to participate in the live recording session which will be developed through improvisation, you are invited to bring your own music instrument and record alongside other musicians.

Please register with Mish’aal by emailing him at 

Venue: The Substation Gallery
Period: 10 - 16 January 2011
Time: 2pm - 9pm
Admission is FREE.

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