A Breath of Fresh Air: Faris Ishaq's "Nafas" at Palvision 2024

On a serene evening in London, the walls of the Tabernacle resonated with the soulful sounds of the Nay, an ancient Middle Eastern flute. This captivating moment was part of Palvision 2024, and the performance in question was "Nafas – نَفَس" by the renowned Palestinian Nay Master, percussionist, and composer, Faris Ishaq.

In Arabic, "Nafas" translates to "breath," an apt title for a piece that deeply explores the intimate relationship between breathing and music. For a Nay player, mastering the art of breathing is essential. Faris Ishaq has embraced this discipline, where the act of breathing transforms into an organic, fluid motion akin to the ebb and flow of ocean tides. This synergy between breath and sound allows the player to release mental barriers, fully immersing in the natural rhythm of inhaling and exhaling. As Faris puts it, "Ultimately, the breathing and the breather must become one."

Born in 1993 in Bethlehem, Palestine, Faris Ishaq's journey with the Nay began as a self-taught endeavor. His deep-seated curiosity and passion for traditional music led him to explore the instrument's full potential beyond its simple design. Through years of dedication, Faris has redefined the parameters of the Nay, integrating it into various musical contexts and pushing its boundaries to new heights.

Faris Ishaq's performances are a testament to his innovative spirit. He seamlessly blends Middle Eastern melodies with jazz improvisations and contemporary folk sounds, creating a unique auditory experience. During his live performances, Faris not only plays the Nay but also accompanies himself with leg-percussion, demonstrating remarkable dexterity and a harmonious blend of melodic and percussive elements. This evocative and improvisational approach makes each performance a journey through diverse musical landscapes.

Faris's talent and innovation have not gone unnoticed. He was awarded a full scholarship to study Global Jazz Music at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where he received the “Matt Marvuglio Best Student Award” for his contributions to jazz music with the Nay. His collaborations with multi-Grammy award-winning jazz artists such as John Patitucci and Danilo Perez have further solidified his place in the contemporary music scene. Faris has also been featured on the Grammy-nominated album "Crisalida" and contributed to the soundtrack of the BAFTA-nominated game "Assassin’s Creed Mirage 2023."

With three albums to his credit, Faris Ishaq has performed at prestigious festivals and venues worldwide, including Kings Place in London, the Panama Jazz Festival, and the Monterey Jazz Festival. His solo album "Nature Addresses You" gained recognition from the International Jazz Day organization and was broadcasted on their channels, further establishing his global presence.

The live performance of "Nafas – نَفَس" at the Tabernacle in London during Palvision 2024 was nothing short of an immersive sonic journey. The audience was treated to the rich tapestry of traditional and innovative sounds that Faris evokes with the Nay. His masterful playing, combined with his unique approach to percussion, created a mesmerizing experience. Faris's ability to navigate his compositions with elegance and precision left an everlasting impression on all who attended.

Faris Ishaq is poised to take his music to new heights, and through his campaign on Groover, he aims to secure more performances and increase his visibility on social media and YouTube. This effort will hopefully lead to more booking opportunities for concerts, allowing audiences worldwide to experience his unique and evocative sound.

In conclusion, Faris Ishaq's performance of "Nafas – نَفَس" at Palvision 2024 was a profound display of musical mastery and innovation. As he continues to push the boundaries of the Nay and inspire audiences with his art, Faris Ishaq is undoubtedly a breath of fresh air in the world of contemporary music. Join us in supporting this extraordinary artist as he continues his journey of artistic exploration and expression.