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February 5 - 26, 2016
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Nikolaj Kunsthal

Ritual: Maâlem Omar Hayat (MA) & DJ Rupture (US)

presented in cooperation with Global, Fonden Roskilde Festival and Fokus Festival

Time & date

20:00 - February 12, 2016

With the event ‘Ritual’, Frost Festival draws on partners Global and Fonden Roskilde Festival for their expertise in world music, as we set out to unite Moroccan Gnawa music and Western electronic music for one night in Copenhagen. Presenting Moroccan Gnawa equilibrist Maâlem (master musician) Omar Hayat alongside American DJ Rupture in the former church of Nikolaj Kunsthal, the event is a presentation of two indeed very different, but in composition and live experience associated, musical genres.

Both Gnawa and electronic music are known to immerse their audiences entirely in the musical experience. Operating with a state of trance, induced by rhythmic repetition and chanting, the genres take two very different approaches to achieve a similar effect. On this night, Maalem Omar Hayat and his band will perform a modern version of the Lila, a traditional and complex, often hours-long, liturgy. Before the evening’s concerts, DJ Rupture will be giving an artist talk in which he gives the audience an introduction into the world of Gnawa.

Originally a ritual mimicking the genesis of the universe, the Lila induces a trancelike state in its listeners, balancing their minds with their body, and summoning saints and supernatural entities through music, dance and colours. Today, Gnawa has fused its spirituality with influences from genres like jazz and reggae, focusing on the experience of the music, rather than the genre’s religious origins. At Frost Festival, Maalem Omar Hayat performs in a custom light setting created in cooperation with Fokus Festival.

As the Lila comes to an end, DJ Rupture takes over the stage. Known for interweaving world music and club culture in DJ-sets, writings on music and radio shows, DJ Rupture has garnered praise such as being “agile and reckless” beyond compare. Emerging from the jungle-scene in Boston, it was with his mash-ups from the early 2000s that DJ Rupture, along artists like Girl Talk and Diplo, made his name as one of the most surprising and unconventional artists around. DJ Rupture has since continued to explore musical riches from all over the world – including Gnawa.

DJ Rupture has become a central part of a growing movement which looks towards world music for inspiration. 2015 saw Floating Points and James Holden influenced by world music and collaborating with Gnawa Maalems. Being one of the truly open-minded and democratic musicians around, DJ Rupture has fused this trend through his steady releases of albums and EP’s as well as writings on music.

As electronic music is usually heard in nightclubs, and Gnawa is seldom presented in Copenhagen, ‘Ritual’ is a unique possibility to meet the two traditions united in the beautiful old church of Nikolaj Kunsthal. Before the music starts, DJ Rupture will give an introductory talk about the world of Gnawa.

Furthermore, the framework provided by the Nikolaj Church makes for a fascinating architectural study. The ancient church bell-tower will be lit up by Norwegian lighting duo Bull & Blomnes, while visual design studio Dark Matters – known for instance from the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 – curate the space inside Nikolaj Kunsthal.

Taking inspiration in North African art and craft, and combining it with the ritual structure of the Lila, Dark Matters’ visuals will continuously develop and morph between recognizable patterns and themes, and abstract hallucinatory dreamscapes. Dark Matters is known for their textural and almost tactile approach to video, and this time they will be immersing themselves into the lands of mosaics, textiles, fine metals and the desert landscape.

The framework provided by the Nikolaj Church makes for a fascinating architectural study. The ancient church bell-tower will be lit up by Norwegian lighting duo Bull & Blomnes, while visual design studio Dark Matters – known for instance from the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 – curate the space inside Nikolaj Kunsthal.

Taking inspiration in North African art and craft, and combining it with the ritual structure of the Lila, the visuals will continuously develop and morph between recognizable patterns and themes, and abstract hallucinatory dreamscapes. Dark Matters is known for their textural and almost tactile approach to video, and this time they will be immersing themselves into the lands of mosaics, textiles, fine metals and the desert landscape.

‘Ritual’ is presented in cooperation with Global, Fonden Roskilde Festival and Fokus Festival.

DJ Rupture

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