Jerusalem In My Heart announces new album Qalaq

Photo: Isabelle Stachtchenko

There’s no stopping Jerusalem In My Heart, the performative audio-visual project founded by prodigious and adventurous musician, composer and producer-in-demand Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, exploring and merging traditional Arabic music with electronic influences. Following the outstanding 2018 Daqa’iq Tudaiq, news of a follow-up album have emerged. Jerusalem In My Heart have announced the release of Qalaq, described by Moumneh as a sister album and “mirrored image” to Daqa’iq Tudaiq. Taking its name from an Arabic word with various meanings, for Moumneh “Qalaq” means “deep worry” in a global scale but specifically in reference to Lebanon, a country beset by corruption and destabilization, its social, economic, and political crisis and the aftermath of the catastrophic explosion at the Beirut port in August 2020. Moumneh explains:

“The Side Two tracks are all named ‘Qalaq’ and then numbered, representing the degrees of layered and complex violence that Lebanon and the Levant have reached in the last couple of years, from the complete and utter failure of the Lebanese sectarian state that has driven the economy to a grinding halt, to its disastrous handling of the migrant influx from neighbouring failed states, to the endemic corruption that led to the August 2020 port explosion, to the latest chapter of Palestinian erasure and yet another brutally asymmetrical and disproportionate bombing campaign on Gaza.”

There are numerous guest musicians on Qalaq including Greg Fox, Oiseaux-Tempête, Lucrecia Dalt, Tim Hecker, Moor Mother, Alanis Obomsawin, and more, who collaborated remotely. Moumneh speaks about the process:

“I composed the album as a bare skeleton, giving each artist a section to decompose, edit, re-interpret and recompose as they desired, sending me back their stems which I then mixed into my own, remoulding newfound coherences in the overarching composition.”

Qalaq also introduces the newest member of Jerusalem In My Heart on visual duties, experimental filmmaker Erin Weisgerber. The short film for Qalouli made last year for Constellation’s Corona Borealis Longform Singles Series marked the duo’s first formal new work together.

We’ll have to wait until October 8th for the album to be out through Constellation but Jerusalem In My heart already shared 3 tracks, ‘Qalaq 3 (w​/​Moor Mother)’, ‘Qalaq 4 (w​/​Rabih Beaini)’ and ‘Qalaq 5 (w​/​Oiseaux​-​Tempête)’, serving as a compelling and entrancing taste of the album. Take a listen now.

In other related news, Jerusalem In My Heart have announced a European and Canadian tour this November, where the music-and-film duo will present their new audio-visual show.

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