Earlier this year, our friends at Howl Arts, a collective that’s been curating some seriously awesome shows here in Montreal the past year or two, released a CD of collaborations between collective member Stefan Christoff and a number of local/nearby musicians, as part of a project to raise awareness about the situation of Abousfian Abdelrazik.
Abdelrazik is a Montrealer who spent the better part of the past decade having his life turned upside down by an absurd “immigration security” apparatus that had him listed on a UN no-fly list and put in a bizarre state of legal limbo, after being wrongly imprisoned in Sudan (at the behest of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service) where he was tortured. There’s a summary of Abdelrazik’s case right here, via Montreal’s People’s Commission Network.
The album features CST friends and allies Matana Roberts, Rebecca Foon (Esmerine), Sam Shalabi (Land of Kush), Radwan Ghazi Moumneh (Land of Kush, Jerusalem in My Heart), Norman Nawrocki (Rhythm Activism) and Peter Burton (the Casa/Suoni empire).
Listen to Matana’s contribution as an MP3 below, and Sam’s a bit further down. Of the song, and the project, Said the Gramophone wrote: “Sometimes presence is not a small thing. Sometimes it is everything. It is friendship or collusion, solidarity or hate. It is bravery or cowardice, a political act. So listen to Christoff’s and Roberts’ “Winter Morning Blues” and hear not just their seeking, their tender hearts, their doleful celebration. Hear the air in the room, the wait and glance, the close-to-touch. Hear the particular, personal sadness. And the hope.”
The full run-down on the release, including ordering info, is