By John Owoo
(In Tunis – Tunisia)
Tunisian group Dyslexia last night sent music lovers at the Palais des Congrès in Tunis on a musical journey that showcased outstanding beats, amazing solos and cross rhythms that seemed to surprise the audience.
Led by Mahmoud Turki, who appeared to sing from the bottom of his heart, the group surprised the audience by living up to their name with compositions that left the audience struggling to interpret their music.
With diverse instruments including “gombri” and “oud”, – closely clipped rhythms propelled the band into motion as compelling flute work encompassed the modern theatre, thereby turning the performance into a throw back that brought nostalgic feelings to the crowd.
“The group delighted us – I enjoyed the eloquent solo playing as they kept us in suspense with diverse rhythms as well as a soulful voice from Turki, whose stage presence and control are quite phenomenal”, said Nour Abdel Kaffi, a musician in Tunis.
In another performance at the same venue, Helwes – collaboration between Nour Hamdani and the collective Aytma was more upbeat with smacks of rhyme, which was somehow lost on foreigners in the audience as they transmitted messages on healing.
The atmosphere of intensity and stillness continued as the bandsmen moved into an exuberant and detailed mode while appealing to minds to aspire reaching spirituality by harmonizing environmental energy.
Towards the end, the band became energized, employing an augmented version of some tunes while adding additional rhythms that appeared to explode into synthesized compositions.
“The stage was constantly alive and the energy was awesome – although there was no hint of dancing, there was a significant dose of theatrical trappings”, added Mohammed Adnan, a dancer in Tunis.
Earlier crowds defied showers at the Avenue Bourgiba in down town Tunis when Moroccan enigmatic band N3rdistan mounted the stage with a subtle exploration of Maghreb varieties, rock and a fine amalgam of dub and oriental melodies.
Sybel, Tunis Air, Ben Jemåa Motors, Travel Todo, Institut Français, Samaris Events, Africable, Bitaka Group, Teskerti, RFI, TUNIS Visions and many others are supporting the festival, which ends on Saturday April 15.
Wiem Ben Amor