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18th edition of the FMA
27 October - 00:00 12 November - 23:59
For its 18th edition, the Arab World Festival of Montreal lavishes its attention on the poets, dancers, musicians and acrobatic spirits who let themselves be guided by the unexpected. From East to West, we find fortuitous encounters, hidden pathways and unusual tributes to life, as cruel and atrocious at it may be! But also a few words from a delirious bard in these lines inspired by Kahlil Gibran’s The Madman:
Brothers in disappointment, masters of evasion, how many promised or hoped-for springs have gone by as we did nothing? How many nights have we awaited the darting spark of a new sun, a leitmotiv sung helter-skelter like a saving mantra that we repeat? And yet it is the same sun that rises each morning, shining indifferently toward beautiful loves or scattered genocides. How many comets, in this garb, have come to be dissolved in the dust of their unfulfilled future? For too long have our hands closed without grasping anything of the tomorrows that have been sung. For too long have we been cradled by the gentle habit of waiting and numbed by the tarnished iron of our will.
Your spring has gone astray in your hearts and minds. Cease waiting for it, or seek it elsewhere.
Yet winter does not kill us, we who are still alive and who taste incessantly the furies of summer and the wise melancholy of autumn. An almost unreadable sky overwhelms our moods, and we avert our gaze from the fruits that storms lavish upon on. The rebirth will not occur since we are not dead, nor are we resuscitated! Let us cast off our illusions and shipwreck the promises that have never taken to sea.
Here comes the strange three’ seasons cycle, punctuated with a hint of an apostrophe named Festival du Monde Arabe, with its thousand distilled fires, as it presents its pageant.
Elbows rise as the violins come in. And then the woodwinds and the percussions, blaring, thundering. With its racy yet velvety demeanour, the oud steps smartly into this well framed picture. Almost feline, undoubtedly mischievous, meditative in its way, it starts vibrating, “They say I come from the Orient and that I am more than two thousand years old. But I am ageless, unattached to eras or to flags. And I have come to sow excess in the temple of discipline. From the drunkenness of the Master’s fingers to the exalted rigour of the brass, the strings and the woodwinds, I shall ring out a musical bar from a re-enchanted world.”
Today is when the tale of The Three’ Seasons in quarter-tones is being told, a creative posture for hearing yourself live.
Enjoy the Festival!
Visual: Calligraphy by Mohammed Makhfi
Inspired by the painting The three Venuses by Khalil Gibran