TARAB CUTS - John Butcher

Tarab Cuts is an hour long piece composed by John Butcher and performed by saxophonist Butcher and drummer Mark Sanders. It was commissioned by Out of the Machine in 2014 and shortlisted for the British Composer Awards.

In 2011 Tarek Atoui invited a number of composers to create short works for his New York project, Visiting Tarab. The idea was to form a modern day response to the Arabic music recordings in the collection of Kamal Kassar of the AMAR Foundation, Beirut.
John Butcher contributed Between the Skies - for saxophone plus sound files (created through edits re-composing music from these 78s).

Tarab Cuts expands this earlier work into a concert presentation - utilising re-imaginings of many other recorded sources, and adding percussionist Mark Sanders.
Whilst it takes inspiration from early Arabic classical, secular and Sufi music it is not an attempt to copy these musics.
It is an interaction across decades and cultures that throws an intriguing light on the contemporary musical practice of Butcher and Sanders. A meeting of distant voices with their own, in pursuit of both common and unfamiliar ground.
Photo: Tarek Atoui's Visiting Tarab in Sharjah, UAE.

  Bristol New Music | Counterflows | Holland Festival | l'Auditori (Barcelona) | London Jazz Festival
  Novas Frequencias (Rio de Janeiro) | hcmf// in Philadelphia

  WIRE live review | Counterflows interview | Point of Departure | 5:4

"In Arab culture, the merger between music and emotional transformation is epitomized by the concept of tarab, which may not have an exact equivalent in Western languages" - The Culture and Artistry of Tarab, Dr. A. J. Racy.

Tarab Cuts - Vinyl LP (45 rpm)

A Between the Skies 13:56 -- BUTCHER: saxes, sound files.
B Under the Walls 14:08 -- SANDERS: drums, BUTCHER: feedback, sound files

These pieces were later expanded into a 50 min concert presentation also called Tarab Cuts.
LP purchase includes a free download code for a live performance of this.

"Not just a ghostly meditation on nostalgia and the emphemeral nature of culture, it's also a carefully constructed investigation into the Arab concept of tarab, the merging of music and emotional transformation"  WIRE - Daniel Spicer