MRG Live Presents: Stephen Malkmus

Fri. Apr 23, 2021 at 8:00pm PDT
19 and Over
35.00 CAD $ - 37.50 CAD $
19 and Over
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35.00 CAD $ - 37.50 CAD $
19 and Over
Event Description
MRG Live Presents: Stephen Malkmus

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Qais Essar

Qais Essar is a contemporary Afghan composer, instrumentalist and producer who channels his melodic designs through the rabab, a 2,500 year old instrument from Afghanistan. He has toured extensively, sharing his new genre of music nationally and internationally. Essar has released two LPs, four EPs and one live album. His first LP, The Green Language (2014), quickly became an Amazon #1 bestseller, followed by his second LP, Tavern of Ruin in 2016. He has contributed original music to feature films also. In 2017, Qais was recruited by director Nora Twomey to compose an original song for her Golden Globe and Oscar-nominated film, The Breadwinner (produced by Angelina Jolie). He earned a Canadian Screen Award nomination for "Best Original Song" for his piece The Crown Sleeps. Additionally, he orchestrated a sold-out run of the musical Tear a Root from the Earth at the OBIE award winning Ice Factory at the New Ohio Theatre in New York City. Essar continues to be featured in festivals and venues around the world including the Newport Folk Festival, SXSW, The Kennedy Center, Treefort Music Festival and more. Essar is planning to tour and release his 3rd LP in 2018.

Magic Carpet

Magic Carpet was a pioneering Anglo-Indian UK band of musicians that first appeared in the early 1970s. The band members were Clem Alford (sitar and esraj), Alisha Sufit (voice and acoustic guitar), Jim Moyes (guitar) and Keshav Sathe (Indian tabla percussion). In 1972 the band released an eponymous album, Magic Carpet, on the Mushroom (UK) label that has since become a sought-after item in the international collectors' vinyl market.

In the 60s and 70s, both in the UK and in America, there was a burgeoning interest in Indian culture and music, most famously spear-headed by virtuoso sitar player Ravi Shankar and sarod player Ali Akbar Khan, amongst others. Numerous UK bands of the era began to use sitar and Indian musical sounds generally to add a flavor of the east to their recordings. By contrast, Magic Carpet was a more cohesive Anglo-Indian fusion, the Indian instrumentation generating and being integral to the music, not simply an addition. Based around the classically trained sitar virtuoso, Clem Alford, and the ethereal voice of Alisha Sufit, Magic Carpet created a distinctive sound described (perhaps misleadingly) as "psychedelic progressive folk" music - psych prog folk.

The Magic Carpet album has been described as "a psych folk gem - a unique and extraordinary fusion of east and west, Magic Carpet being one of the very first bands to truly combine Indian and western instrumentation". After a launch at the 100 Club, London, UK, the Magic Carpet band performed at Cleo Laine and Johnny Dankworth's Wavendon, enjoyed airplay on Pete Drummond's Sounds of the Seventies on BBC Radio, plus made several club and festival appearances. However, this novel collective split up shortly after the first album was released. It was only after a lapse of some fifteen years that recognition followed. Widely and more positively reviewed, the original Magic Carpet album has now been reissued on CD and vinyl by the UK Magic Carpet Records label.

Seven of the vocal tracks written by Sufit employ modal tunings in the guitar accompaniment. These 'open' guitar tunings, first introduced and popularized by musicians such as Davey Graham and Joni Mitchell, are supremely compatible with the modal tuning of the sitar, allowing a true integration of sounds. Alisha Sufit's vocals feature on nine of the twelve tracks, the remaining three being purely instrumental.

In 1996, Alford and Sufit got together again and collaborated to record the album Once Moor, subtitled Magic Carpet II. It is a true follow-on from the original Magic Carpet album, with its simple acoustic instrumentation - guitar, sitar, tabla, tamboura, and Appalachian dulcimer. The album was issued on CD and heavy-weight vinyl, the latter pressed at EMI. Around the same time, the album by Clem Alford entitled Mirror Image was reissued, a record first released on vinyl in 1974.

Magic Carpet Records also released a limited edition reissue LP version of the original Magic Carpet recording. Pressed at EMI on heavyweight audiophile vinyl, this LP has since become a collectable in its own right.

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Imperial 319 Main St
Vancouver, BC V6A 2S9
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