AMN Reviews: Stefan Christoff & Sam Shalabi – Flying Street الشارع الطيّار (Howl! Arts)

R-7237075-1436840312-6544.jpegTwo of Montréal´s most mindful, pianist Stefan Christoff and oudist (for this occasion) Sam Shalabi, meet on Flying Street, in what proves to be a demonstration of true mutual sensitivity. The “mother instruments” of their respective traditions, each freighted with history and conceits, reach out with confidence toward one another. Fingers paint mehndi tattoos on the others hands, palms and forearms, becoming increasingly arabesque as they intertwine on “Elephantine”.

Shalabi scales the façades lining “Flying Street”, while Christoff is already very, very blue by the time the former joins him on “Blue Soon”, an elaborate, night-gathering metric that curls itself into a poem.

The paradigm for inquiry is a psychological one – understanding the mind, in tandem, the mind of the other, when successful to such a degree that you can taste the sublime and dissolve the self into a superself. “Revolution in Orbit”, at fifteen minutes double the length of each preceding piece, is downright photovoltaic, rooster-tailing sparks as Christoff and Shalabi gather electricity in the radiant energy of pure propulsion.

Stephen Fruitman