Explorations in New Music Feb. 23 @ 9pm – Sam Shalabi & Thanya Iyer


sam shalabi

Sam Shalabi  – oud, composition

Sam Shalabi is an Egyptian- Canadian composer and improviser, living between Montreal, Quebec and Cairo, Egypt.  Beginning in punk rock in the late 70s, his work has evolved into a fusion of experimental and modern Arabic music that incorporates traditional Arabic, shaabi, noise, classical, text, free improvisation and jazz.  He has released 5 solo albums, 5 albums with Shalabi Effect (a free improvisation quartet that bridges western psychedelic music and Arabic Maquam – scales), and 3 albums with Land Of Kush (an experimental 30 member orchestra, for which he composes). He has appeared on over 60 albums and toured Europe, North America, and North Africa.  Recent projects include the release of the 6th Shalabi Effect album, a duo album with Stefan Christoff, two albums on the Italian label Sagittarius with Beirut, Turkish and Egyptian musicians (as Karkhana), and a tour in the eastern U.S with Alvarius B, playing solo ud (Arabic Lute). He is also releasing a new composition for ud and electronics on Nashazphone called “Isis and Osiris”, as well as releasing an album with The Dwarves Of East Agouza, a Cairo based trio with Maurice Louca and Alan Bishop.  Recent activity includes multiple tours with Karkhana (who recently released 2 albums), a 2nd Dwarfs Of East Agouza album, and performances with Michel F Côté and Alexandre St-Onge, and Land Of Kush.

Listen to one of Sam’s more recent works here.


photo of thanya iyer band

Thanya Iyer – composition, voice, piano, synths // Alex Kasirer-Smibert – bass, electronics // Daniel Gélinas – drums // Sophia Grouev – projections

Thanya Iyer is both a person and a band. Thanya Iyer the person, is 1/3 of Thanya Iyer the band. The other 2/3s are made up of Alex, Dan and other great friends. Thanya Iyer (the band) has done a lot (released an album, released a mixtape, played at festivals, played in every time zone in North America, etc…). Thanya Iyer (the person) has done all this and then some. Thanya Iyer (the person) is a very busy person.  Thanya Iyer (the band) is a very busy band and the sound has evolved to reflect this. Thanya Iyer (the band) struggles to define their music (only when asked, they don’t think about it the rest of the time) and rather than recite a list of genres and sub-genres, they would rather you just listen and tell them. But for the lazy (or busy) people out there maybe Future-Folk is accurate (or vague) enough? Thanya Iyer (the person and the band) will continue her and their never-ending quest to bring joy to those they come in contact with. Using music, conversation, green tea and miscellaneous.

Featuring projections by Sophia Grouev.

Listen to Thanya’s latest release here.