Concert & rencontre avec Akram Hajj

Master drummer

Firmly poised behind an array of toms and cymbals, Akram Hajj cuts an imposing figure as the master drummer of Lebanese post-rock band Kinematik.Curious by nature and not content with one musical affiliation, Hajj played with various bands and musicians in genres as diverse as pop, rock, jazz, blues, and reggae prior to the creation of Kinematik.

Post-rock quartet Kinematik came into existence in the Lebanese mountain village of Reyfoun in the summer of 2014. The four men recorded debut album Ala' in the spring of 2017, rapidly gaining notoriety on Beirut's live circuit. They released their sophomore album Murur Al-Kiram in the winter of 2020 for Lebanese indie imprint Ruptured.

In addition to his duties as the main drummer for Kinematik, Hajj is a session player at Tunefork Studios in Beirut, where he has recorded soundtracks for films and television ads. He also performs in experimental electro-acoustic duo `Escalier B" with Lebanese electronic producer Ziad Moukarzel, and has recently embarked on a successful collaboration with musician and vocalist Nadia Daou aka NAR. Recently he's been experimenting with live looping synthesizers, xylophones, and piano on top of the drums.

`I always felt lucky to be living in Beirut as a drummer where I played alongside amazing musicians and collaborated with numerous and talented artists, until the first day of the revolution. I got severely shot in my right index finger while protesting. It was nearly chopped off.

In the first period of my recovery, dark thoughts were taking over. One day, I decided to play the xylophone with my right hand and the drums with the left, which gave a unique and interesting sound. I spent 5 months practicing independence between both hands. The right was playing the rhythmic melodies and the left was addressing the groove on the drums. Very satisfied with the outcome, I decided to do my first solo project and introduced some loops and bass lines on a synthesizer.

Today, my musical project is a blend of live electronic sounds looped on a bass station accompanied by a kind of folk or classical melodies played on a mallet instrument which surrounds the acoustic groove and beat that I will be playing on a drum set. This project merges the new age with the old, inspired by the hectic difficult life with the sweet and pleasant one we tend to live in Lebanon."

Organisation: neimënster en collaboration avec l'Association des Centres Culturels de Rencontre et Les Dominicains de Haute-Alsace