Marc Nammour & Lorenzo Bianchi Talk All Things Project 99

Project 99

Project 99 is the result of the collaboration between poet and rapper, Marc Nammour, and music composer, Lorenzo Bianchi. Created as part of the research and creation process of transcultural music at the Royaumont Foundation, the performance takes place in a great Cartesian momentum, where the French administration puts all French residents and nationals born abroad under a ‘99’ number for identification purposes.

With D-CAF just around the corner, Nammour and Bianchi shed light on the fascinating mashup…

How did Project 99 come to be?

Nammour: 99 was the first project that I wanted to create after coming to France. It was borne out of my relationship with Lorenzo after we had worked together in an earlier project. We wanted to do something very different between acoustic and electronic music and, in a way, just define our identity. The name “99” is derived from the fact that the French government places that number at the end of your identification card when you’re not born in France. So for me, this was just a great opportunity to talk about my identity and to just say to everybody that my identity isn’t just one, but multiple. It is not defined by country or borders. It’s much more than that.

What would you say is the best definer for identity then? Is it music for you?

Nammour: My identity can only be defined from a social perspective. If I have one identity that could be understood by everyone, it would be that. I have lots in common with people from Egypt. I could have so many different identities and points of similarities with different people really.

How fluid do you consider music genres?

Bianchi: That was a main thing that we needed to confront from the get-go. When Marc asked me to compose music with him, it was very difficult for me at first as I’m an electronic musician for the most part; and in this project, we’re mostly playing ethnic music from various local traditions. It was a very weird question that we had to face. Our answer was that we didn’t just want to patch some instruments together. Our idea was to make electronic music the glue for everything. We did research and experimented based on that. Our acoustic instruments are plugged to computers, thereby producing music that is very experimental in nature. I don’t think it’s about the type of music as much as it’s about the attitude towards it.

Do you always try to incorporate an international flavor into your music?

Bianchi: We always try. The thing is we didn’t really know each other all that well in the beginning. Every one of us is a great instrumentalist, and then you have me as composer. It was difficult at first to write a score for everyone without knowing their styles really well. We did a lot of improvisations at the beginning to get to know ourselves a bit better. I think that throughout time, everyone managed to find their way and incorporate their background into the music naturally.

How do you feel like your music has progressed since you first came together?

Bianchi: Musically, there’s a unique relationship between acoustic and electronic. So for example, if you have a flute solo, it’s not really a solo, it’s more like a duet between me and the flutist. In the beginning, it was really hard to find that balance, to really find a way to play together because it’s new and very unique. You have to listen very carefully at what comes out of all of your band mates in that sense. Not everyone is used to that.  The formation of the songs hasn’t really changed all that much, but the ease of improvisation has increased exponentially over the past year.

Nammour: That is really getting better and better and better.

Do you always rely on improvisations in your performances?

Nammour: That’s really the idea because we have lots of free parts that we feel links well with us liking to exude our multiple identities. Thus, we have to be free and really play like the moment dictates. It’s like a very exciting and mysterious dangerous. We’re very excited to see how this type of project is translated and pieced together for this performance. It’s a very exciting project and this will be the very first time that we play in a country that mainly doesn’t understand French.

Bianchi: We’re thankfully blessed to have skilled improvisators. It is really about the skill that they have. Egypt isn’t very far for the concepts and music that we play.

What could D-CAF expect from you?

Nammour: That we’re going to do our best just to talk to strangers! That’s the purpose: even if we don’t talk the same language, we have loads of common points.

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D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival

Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) is Egypt’s first international multi-disciplinary contemporary arts festival. The 6th edition of D-CAF (#DCAF17) will take place over three weeks from the 17th of March to the 8th of April 2017 at multiple sites in Downtown Cairo. D-CAF will include local, regional and international music, theatre, dance, visual arts and film by cutting-edge artists from Egypt, the Arab world, and beyond. In addition to featuring established Downtown cultural spaces and theatres, D-CAF uses non-traditional sites such as historical buildings, storefronts, alleyways, and rooftops as sites for performances, events, and arts installations, with the aim of bringing audiences and performers to engage with the city in a new way. With its diverse and first-rate programming, D-CAF aspires to become one of the most important annual Arab art events by reaching out to a broad spectrum of Egyptian audiences, creating bridges between Arab artists, international curators and programmers, as well as capitalising on Downtown Cairo’s unique cultural, social and architectural heritage. Furthermore, the D-CAF team seeks not just to bring the best in international contemporary culture to Cairo, but also to deliver a highly professional and well-publicised international festival. Follow us on: Instagram: @dcafegypt Twitter: https://twitter.com/DCAFEgypt Press: www.dcafpress.com Blog: www.d-caf.org/blog
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalThursday, July 19th, 2018 at 8:33pm
We are Hiring !
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalMonday, July 9th, 2018 at 2:35am
We are proud to announce that duo 'The Architects' A Performance By Younes Atabane who preformed at he AAF- Arab Arts Focus during D-CAFs 7th edition will be at Zürcher Theater Spektakel in August 2018.

Congrats Youness Atbane!

https://www.theaterspektakel.ch/en/program18/production/youness-atbane-youness-aboulakoul/
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
Medrar TV
This performance features a documentary made in the year 2045, where political conflicts have changed the world to a degree that only memories of #art remain. Youness Atbane looks back at the dynamics of contemporary Moroccan art and takes the audience to an ambiguous space between reality and fiction. The Second Copy: 2045 was shown in the Arab Arts Focus program of D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival. https://youtu.be/9_ptaYRo24w Basma Hamed Mohamed Allam Mohammad Helmy Mohamed Samir Saad Dina Jereidini Asmaa Zayed
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalFriday, June 29th, 2018 at 1:28am
Seven Years running and still strong !
How many Editions did you catch?!

سبع سنين و لسى مكمليين !
كم سنة بقلكم بتحضروا دي-كاف؟

#TBT #throwbackthursday #7 #festivals #contemporary #arts #DCAF
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalSaturday, June 23rd, 2018 at 2:30am
This Year D-CAFs Music Programme had three very diverse Music Concerts
-With Samira Said (Morocco/​E​gypt), Pink Oculus (The Netherlands), Elbi (France), And Shahira Welnas Elkhatira (Egypt)
-Tarek Yamani, Out Of Nations And El Sawareekh (Lebanon/usa/germany/egypt)
-Bachar Mar-khalifé, Bit-tuner & Andro El Hawy + El Sweasy And Teklife & Islam Chipsy + Sadat (France/lebanon/switzerland/usa/egypt)

Who do you think will be on stage at D-CAF19 ?

السنادي في دي كاف كان 3 حفلات مزيكا مختلفة من بلاد مختلفة متنوعة
(سميرة سعيد و فرق عالمية (بينك اوكيولس, إلبي ,شهيرة و الناس الخطيرة
الصواريخ/NATIONS OF OUT/طارق يمني
بشار مار-خليفة / بيت تيونر / ١٠٠ نسخة/ تك لايف

تتوقعوا مين هيكون في حفلات دي-كاف 19؟
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D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalFriday, June 15th, 2018 at 6:10am
The Orient for Film & Theater Productions family wishes you a Happy Eid
عيد مبارك
و كل عام انتم بخير!
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival
D-CAF - Downtown Contemporary Arts FestivalThursday, June 14th, 2018 at 12:14am
D-CAF 18 is still rolling!

A group of lecturers and students from German University in Cairo visiting D-CAF visual arts programme// Roznama studio program Followed by entertainment night of the week here at The space held by and at one of the participating artists from our programme

دي-كاف 18!
مجموعة من اساتذة و طلاب الجامعة الالمانية فى زيارة الى ستوديوا روزناما و شاركوا فى عرض لاحدى الفنانين المشاركين بالبرنامج

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