Jesse Autumn (double harp) and Mahmoud Chouki (guitar/loutar) duet in the galleries at NOMA.
Mahmoud “Mood” Chouki is a master guitarist, multi-instrumentalist and composer living and working in New Orleans. His art draws together music from many different international contexts to consider how music can speak across cultural divides. His own compositions incorporate musical influences from across the globe, ranging from European classical, Andalusian from Southern Spain, Levantine music from the Middle East, Maghrebian music from North Africa, Latin American music, and jazz from the Southern United States.
For Bodies of Knowledge, Chouki will create a new musical composition, and series of site-specific performances entitled Safar, which means “to travel” in Arabic. Through collaboration with a group of international musicians in New Orleans, Chouki will create a series of five live performances in NOMA’s Great Hall, and a series of improvisational concerts within the exhibition space. Chouki will also work with musicians in New Orleans to create a new musical composition that responds to the art on view in the exhibition, as well as the histories of travel and cultural migration that define contemporary music. This series of performances will culminate in a final performance on the closing day of the show in which all of the musicians Chouki works with over the course of the project will come together to collectively perform Chouki’s new composition.