Amir Amiri (Nabil Shash)
In collaborating on the same stage for the first time, this evening will be one to remember as a defined yet fluid sound tapestry is woven. - Aqua Books
Amir Amiri is a classically trained santur player and composer, born in Iran and now living in Winnipeg. Amiri is always passionate and compelling, whether he is playing traditional Persian music, creating an original theatre score or improvising with musicians from different backgrounds. Moe Clark is an award-winnipeg performance poet living in Montreal who creates a rich sonic landscape mixing original poetry and looping pedal.
Together, this Iranian immigrant and Aboriginal Canadian connect around the topic of finding a sense of place.
SCENE caught up with Amiri in between rehearsals for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre's Romeo and Juliet.
What does the title mean, Woven Borders?
The collaboration deals with the questions of identity and borders. When are you going to decide that the place you live is your home? Where is home? As a human being, moving, I believe we are like Aboriginals in Canada - who know where the caribou line is, where the elks go. As artists in the world, we move where the food is, where the thought is. We have been given permission to change, permission to be at the front of the pack and to go through this change and present it to other people.
I think that with Moe we are trying to explore this idea. We also have a wonderful bass player with us named Luke Sellick, who's unbelieveable - very high musicianship. I'm super looking forward to it.
Have you worked together with Moe Clark before?
We have done a few things, but this is the first time we are going to be on stage together. We have six or seven pieces that are set and the rest is improvised.
How do you collaborate on a musical project long-distance? How did you "set" your pieces?
Through skype and through emails and such. I sent her pieces and she sent me pieces, so back and forth through files. This is how we have developed the ideas that we're going to showcase tonight.
How would you describe what she does?
She is an incredible artist, a poet, a verbal artist. She does looping and all the other things. She uses technology to express herself. She is from a Métis background. She works using words and storytelling - using the idea of Métis people and tackling the urban challenges and problems of today's modern world. She has been very successful in poetry circles in the east and the west. She also has a solo CD under her belt.
What can audiences expect to hear?
I am doing a solo piece, then I'm doing another 20 minutes with Luke, and then we will all get together and play for 40 minutes. The whole thing is called Woven Borders - so the idea that music and conversation happen regardless of where you're from, and what's happening. It's all about the current human situation in the world.
Woven Borders takes place at Aqua Books, November 21st at 8:00 p.m.
Pictured above, right, Moe Clark (Youtube)