VIDEO: Alexandria’s Oufuky Music Festival releases original videos for bands

Like Jelly Performance Music El Cabina Alexandria

The Oufuky Music Festival, organised in Alexandria in June, has released a series of music videos for participating bands, following their experience at the unique event – Originally published in Ahram Online.

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The Oufuky Music Festival‘s videographers have released the final video for Cairo band Like Jelly, part of a series of music videos for bands who performed in the first edition of the five day festival in June.

The unique music festival, which took place in El-Cabina in Alexandria, included film screenings, performances and workshops all surrounding music, giving a chance to audiences to integrate music, its production and its makers into their daily life.

The festival’s name, “Oufuky,” directly translates as “horizontal.” Ayman Asfour, festival co-founder, told Ahram Online earlier this year: “Most festivals that host live concerts come in the form of a large condensed event over a short period (1-2 days) with many musicians and different genres playing one after the other. This creates a vertical accumulation of music, which musically confuses the audience.” The approach of Oufuky is more practical, integrating music production with performance, allowing a “horizontal” view on music overall.

This is also the approach videographers Mamoon Azmy and Sherif Sharkawy took when they filmed the festival from start to finish — footage that eventually became these music videos, catering to each band’s unique flavour.

The seven videos shot by Azmy and Sharkawy and directed by Azmy follow the bands on the day of their performance in downtown Alexandria. They document their actual performances, along with their sound checks, walking around, eating in the famous Mohamed Ahmed restaurant near El-Cabina, or sitting in an ahwa (local coffee shop) sipping tea with mint. While the formula across the videos is the same, each video’s shooting and editing reflect the band’s unique sound and performance which ranged from progressive rock, to reggea, to indie, contemporary Arabic, and even musical comedy.

“For us it is not important the quality of music, or the audience reaction; what is important is the creative person making the music. There are things around him that get him to this place,” Azmy told Ahram Online. “I’m interested in the musicians’ lives off the stage.”

“It’s new and different, and usually these moments are not documented,” Sharkawy added.

Steering clear of the conventional documentation footage that one usually sees, of interviews with the musicians and footage of them performing, Azmy and Sharkawy tried to present something different. Besides the music videos for each of the bands, they also have a 20-minute documentary on the festival as a whole which has yet to be released to the public.

“We wanted to present in a raw way what was happening, as it was, and we felt the audience would appreciate this in a non-conventional way,” Sharkawy said.

This documentation project was the first collaboration between Azmy and Sharkawy, along with a support group of friends and aquaintances of theirs who are all involved in music and filmmaking and who decided to form a working group to support each other in their projects. The group also includes Khaled Nadim and Youssef Iskandar, who took care of video editing.

“We want to platform the bands, and make high quality videos,” Azmy explained. “We’re not entirely happy with the quality of the videos, but this time around was very experimental. Next time it will be much better,” he promised, commenting that they would have a clearer vision for each band, along with paying more attention to sound and lighting.

The festival was run within the project “El-Mashtal” (the Greenhouse) under the umbrella of the Gudran Assosication for Arts and Development and aiming to enrich the independent music scene in Alexandria.

Find one of  the videos below, and see the rest the Oufuky YouTube channel.

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