BEIRUT: For Karen Keyrouz, drawing is a lot like dancing, as pencil strokes can move to musical notes; and she found the perfect event to demonstrate that.
Under the roof of Demo Bar in Gemmayze, Concert Dessiné brought art and music lovers together in a cozy setting on Sunday night for its 8th consecutive installment. The event succeeded in attracting a large audience despite the venue’s modest space.
The bar hosted four artists, each improvising a live drawing performance, while musician Khodor Ellaik paralleled with a live musical performance of his own.
The artists were able to produce their pieces and express their individual styles using different artistic tools, which ranged from stencils to shards of mirror.
Keyrouz, one of the artists, told Annahar that a central idea to Concert Dessiné is that “there might be lack of harmony between the musician and the artist. There’s always a chance it may not work out,” highlighting the risk associated with meshing two forms of improvised art together.
“However, there’s almost always a peak moment that the artist reaches with the musician,” she added.
The drawing demonstrations were projected onto a large screen, and each of the four participants, Keyrouz, Nour Hifaoui Fakhoury, Tracy Chahwan, and Ghadi Ghosn, was given fifteen minutes to improvise an art piece of their choice alongside Ellaik’s improvised electronic performance.
Ellaik described the experience as “very satisfying,” adding that “the challenge was to stay attentive to how the artists are flowing.”
He added: “I like that at some point we weren’t necessarily in complete harmony. They are different mediums so they don’t completely depend on each other, and they don’t harm each other so there’s always a place for us to meet.”
The initiative began over a year ago in collaboration with Institut Français and comic artist, author, and musician Charles Berbérian who was in Lebanon for a series of workshops.
Concert Dessiné takes place once at the end of each month to bring musicians and artists together with the main aim of showcasing the process of how art is created, according to Keyrouz.
She further noted how Concert Dessiné allows artists to establish contact and communicate directly with their spectators, especially since their jobs or projects are not usually interactive.
“It shows a lot of the process – how the artists think, how they begin their form, how they can take you somewhere else,” she said, adding: “I also like how we invite musicians and try things out together. We can be inspired by one another.”
Karen Keyrouz in the process of creating her piece (Annahar Photo)