Jerusalem In My Heart
Jerusalem In My Heart (JIMH) is a live audio-visual performance project, with Lebanese-Canadian producer/musician Radwan Ghazi Moumneh and Montréal based filmmaker Erin Weisgerber at its core. JIMH is an immersive sonic and visual live experience and an evolving effort to forge a modern experimental Arabic music wed to hand-made visuals using analog 16mm film at site-specific screen installations.
JIMH is guided by Moumneh’s melding of ‘traditional’ melismatic singing (in Arabic) and buzuk playing with modern deployments of modular synthesis, sound design and field recordings. JIMH recordings often pay homage to the blown-out distortions of historical Arabic cassette tape culture, processed through modern currents of electronic music. Moumneh’s lyrical themes are deeply expressive and rich in political and socio-cultural consciousness: “there is a heartfelt yearning and emotion that unifies” the work, writes The Wire; “stunning of-the-moment [music] that speaks to the intersection of the personal and political with supreme confidence” says AdHoc. In 2012, Moumneh began to transform Jerusalem In My Heart from one-off, site-specific, performance-only multi-media happenings into a recording project and live audio-visual duo where performances could be ‘repeated’. 16mm film loops and projections are an integral part of the JIMH aesthetic identity – still frames from these film materials are also often used to generate the group’s album art and packaging. Weisgerber manipulates the photographic, chemical and material properties of 16mm film, rendering rhythmic images that exist between figuration and abstraction, external vision and internal landscape; she performs film and audio loops live on multiple projectors.
JIMH’s three full-length albums to date – all released on Montréal experimental music label Constellation – have variously appeared on year-end lists in such publications as The Quietus, The Wire, A Closer Listen, and others. The project has toured widely in Europe and Canada (with occasional forays into the USA) and has performed several times in Beirut. JIMH has been a guest curator for Le Guess Who? Festival and Moumneh is intensely active as an audio engineer and producer, with a long list of albums to his credit (Matana Roberts, Big | Brave, Suuns, Fly Pan Am, Jessica Moss, Eric Chenaux, to name just a few) working out of the city’s legendary Hotel2Tango studio, where Moumneh is a co-owner. JIMH has also released a collaborative album with Suuns (on Secretly Canadian) and was featured in an installment of the Grapefruit Records subscription series.
20 May 2021 – Sainte-Thérèse, QC @ Santa Teresa Festival