2015 going on 2016

My absence on here has been long, and I’ll try not to forget anything that happened during these past two months.

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After we launched our company Black Howl, we focused on 4 a Cause again and threw that Smile 4 a Cause party to help out Global Smile Foundation. Our friends and other new friends showed up to that cool party, the music made sure of it anyways, and Romax, MAK and Padawan made them dance all night!

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We even launched our website before the end of the 2015 year. It was the first website I designed and I think it holds everything we do as a team and an organization. Make sure to check it out here.

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As those charitable work came to an end, I had been cooking a small plan to learn more about live production and live sound. That small plan worked and I got to join alt-J on their last leg of the tour. I wish I had planned sooner and got more time with them, but touring the UK with them has been a practical lesson and an eye-opener to my work.

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AWGComing back to Beirut, I had to check on a project I delegated to my team; Aziza‘s show. This was a very pleasant surprise, on both sides: discovering a new local talent and knowing that my team pulled it off while I was in a different country.
We also teamed up with Jim Beam for Brit Floyd’s show in Biel. That show has been coming to Beirut every year, and selling out every year. Some locals complain that they want new names and that recurrence is ridiculous… but, let’s face it. If it works for a promoter every year, why not? I can personally say, the lights on that show are breath taking.

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IMG_1833We finished up the month with helping around a TV show production for New Year’s. It was two hectic tiring days. Let’s say I still prefer the live music production over a TV production, but it was good checking out how other genres or teams work.

As I handed an illustration job that I can’t unfortunately show you, my focus shifts to more personal goals and some free time. I can’t reveal much, other that I’ve been talking about this personal project on the blog for more than a year, and I’m getting tired of it being just talk, but I think once it’s out, the satisfaction of crossing that finish line will be fulfilling.

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First, Step Up

Needless to say the concert was awesome. What blew everyone’s mind was how incredibly talented and amazing it was despite their very young age. The crew was also very easy to work with. We had some minor difficulties to set up, having the opening band Mashrou’ Leila with a very different set up to change in less than 10 min: we did it in 8!
Both bands’ crews were happy with my team’s work, and that’s something to look back on with a smile.

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The show might be the cheery for most of the people that were in Biel, but being congratulated on an awesome job when it’s your first time doing it on your own as a head of a team is what made this an incredible middle-start for me.
Sure, there were some mistakes and “holes” here and there, due to the lack of experience on some other people we were working with, but we pulled it off, helping wherever we can once we were done with our tasks.

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And… on the next day, I had to get up (with what was left of me of energy and what not) to finalize some details about my upcoming surprise to Lebanon. All that’s left to do before the revelation is funding.
Stay tuned…

Get Away to Get Back

A vacation was well deserved. It also helps you relaunch an amazing focus for work.
I recommend anyone in need of pure relaxation, meditation and quiet time to go to Naxos, a wonderful island in Greece.

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photo (1)Back in town, I started working on the second project that I’ve kept hidden from you a long time. You probably remember pictures of me and some friends in cars, going around Lebanon. Won’t spoil it, but you’ll be hopefully getting all there is to know at the end of this month. If, of course, all goes to plan. The project is speeding up, as everything was well prepared and thought of. No need to keep it locked up inside anymore.

In the meantime, I’ve put up my team for the London Grammar concert happening in Beirut next week. This is the first time I’ll be working with the Vincenti Group. I already worked with many of the suppliers hired for this concert.
Let’s hope it’s a good one. Until now, it has been fine. Let’s hope there’s even more to learn on this show.

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Final Gigs at Byblos

Hadn’t had the time to get on here and post a few updates, so you’ll be getting pictures and notes about 4 concerts at once and the prep for the last one!

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Stromae was off the hook. One of the greatest performances I’ve seen. It wasn’t just about the music; visuals, animations, costumes, stage presence… everything. The crew and band were even easy and down to earth. We grabbed a few drinks afterwards. Some people keep a warm heart even with a big rise to the top.

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The day after, an old cute guy was walking around the site in the morning: Mulatu. Very happy and modest man. Grabbing me by the arm while I was working, asking me random questions like we’ve known each other for a long time.
Had a great work time with Ibrahim Maalouf’s production manager too. The change-over was a bit complicated but I pulled it off with the team. Ibrahim gave one hell of a show!

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Guy Manoukian’s concert was the last one we just finished. A bit more work on that, having 38 musicians on stage and 5 risers. This band even had two days of rehearsal prior to the concert. So we had longer time to work on the production for that. A special wink to Mehdi who  insisted on having a picture on the blog: Hands off that expensive piano dude!

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Last but not least: Beirut.
Started loading in the backline and risers about two days ago. We also had Postcards, our local opening band for that concert, sound checking yesterday. You will be surprised with some new songs tonight. Always loved that band, they helped out a year ago with a 4 a Cause charity concert.

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That 4 a Cause Catch Up

Been working on some legal papers, bank account issues and the footage from the 4 a Cause events.
As a thank you to one of the bands, I’ve been working fast with our editor Farid to finish up Postcards‘ video.

This is their live performance, from last October at Music 4 a Cause, of their original Sleepless Nights, from their EP Lakehouse.

I’ve also been working on the website. Our designer is almost done with it, but meanwhile, a small video, the logo and sign ups are ready for you on there.

We’ll keep you posted on more to come.
It’s been a stressful month, but at the same time a chilled one. Go figure…