Electra Street 01 Debuts

Electra Street 01 Debuts

CoverWe’re out of beta!

Last night, after the “Abu Dhabi Reads Animal Farm” event that we co-sponsored with the NYUAD Institute, we unveiled Electra Street 01, the inaugural print issue of this journal.

The first issue features articles by:

  • Yasser Alwan and Shamoon Zamir
  • Nathalie Peutz
  • Kevin Riordan and Michael Littig
  • Matthew Silverstein
  • Justin Stearns
  • Kate Stimpson
  • Ankhi Thakurta

It also contains short fiction by Jennifer Acker and Joanne P. D. Bui, and poems by Sachi Leith.

Intended for general readers interested in cutting-edge work in the arts and humanities, the journal features a design created by the NYUAD Design Collective. The issue is illustrated with art and photographs by Shakhbout Al Kaabi, Sarah Bushra, Lan Duong, Caroline Gobena, James Hunt,
Anna Ivanovna Kurkova, Justin Nestor, Kimberly Rodriguez, Rasha Shraim, Liza Tait-Bailey, and Agustina Zegers.

Bonus content is available via the page dedicated to the issue. You can also download a PDF copy of the Introduction to the issue.

Electra Street 01 is printed in the UAE by Professional Advertising and Publicatins, LLC, and is being distributed there and at NYU’s global sites. Later this summer, it will be available in a variety of e-reader and print-on-demand formats. If you’d like to have a copy of the inaugural issue, please send an inquiry to us at info@electrastreet.net.

 

 

 

Electra Street in Print

stearns.mapWe are pleased to announce that the first print issue of Electra Street will make its debut at the “Abu Dhabi Reads: Animal Farm” event that will be held at NYUAD’s Downtown Campus on April 10 at 6:30 p.m.

The first issue features articles by:

  • Yasser Alwan and Shamoon Zamir
  • Nathalie Peutz
  • Kevin Riordan and Michael Littig
  • Matthew Silverstein
  • Justin Stearns
  • Kate Stimpson
  • Ankhi Thakurta

It also contains short fiction by Jennifer Acker and Joanne P. D. Bui, and poems by Sachi Leith.

Intended for general readers interested in cutting-edge work in the arts and humanities, the journal features a design created by the NYUAD Design Collective. The issue is illustrated with art and photographs by Shakhbout Al Kaabi, Sarah Bushra, Lan Duong, Caroline Gobena, James Hunt,
Anna Ivanovna Kurkova, Justin Nestor, Kimberly Rodriguez, Rasha Shraim, Liza Tait-Bailey, and Agustina Zegers.

Electra Street 01 is being printed in the UAE and being distributed there and at NYU’s global sites and will shortly be available in a variety of e-reader and print-on-demand formats. If you’d like to have a copy of the inaugural issue, please send an inquiry to us at info@electrastreet.net.

[Image: Asya as-Sughra [Asia Minor] qabla al-Milad [before the birth of Christ] from the book Jughrafiya-i Osmani (published 1332/1914). From Justin Stearns’s article “Arab Crossroads Studies at NYU Abu Dhabi: A Regional Perspective.”]

On Writing “Las Flores del Encino”

On Writing “Las Flores del Encino”

electra--street-performing-las-flores

The conceptualization of “Las Flores del Encino” was a mix of artistic experimentation and my personal life. I was going through some hard times after a break-up and my mother recited “Si por haber estado enamorado” by Argentinian poet Francisco Ruiz Bernárdez to me. The impact was such that I still know the poem by heart and I wanted pay tribute to Bernárdez’s words.

electra-street-cristobal-and-teacherThe aesthetic choices, both in terms of harmonics and in terms of the score, came from artistic experimentation motivated by Dimitris Andrikopolous (my teacher and coach at the time). I had a limited amount of time to write the piece and I needed something simple but effective. Instead of imposing a rhythm and melody extracted by the words in the poetry, which would be the usual thing to do, I divided the poem into eight fragments and then came up with eight chords. Each chord would belong to one of the eight fragments of the poem, and the players, including the singers, would be free to choose which note of the chord to play and how to play it in each event. The conductor would freely choose when to move from event one to event two and so forth. Because there was no melody to the piece, it was important to look for something that would make the chords in each section more interesting in terms of “timbre color.” My teacher suggested that I experiment with harmonics, which produce very light, pure sounds. I followed his recommendation and included that element in the piece.

To drive the piece forward to a climax, I used dynamics and created a very basic arch that builds on a continuous crescendo to an apex and then slowly goes down to a resolution. Rather than trying to control all aspects of the piece, I provided the musicians with the necessary elements and allowed the piece to develop organically in performance.

As I reflect on it now, the piece was about letting go more than anything else. I had to let go of rhythm, harmony and melody, which are elements that I usually employ to impose my ideas into the music, and relinquish control over aspects of the piece. The piece became a lesson on how love should be treated: we can’t control its development or impose ourselves on it but must allow it to develop organically as well.

 

A recording of “Las Flores del Encino:”

 

“Las Flores del Encino” is the third piece of three-piece set titled “Three Miniatures of Love” or “Tres miniaturas de amor” in Spanish. The other two pieces will be recorded next year.

Cristóbal Martínez Yanes is a junior at NYU Abu Dhabi.

[Photos: Top: performing “Las Flores del Encino”; bottom: Cristobal and Dimitris Andrikopolous.]

PHILTERLESS PHONE PHOTOGRAPHS: CONTEST WINNERS!

PHILTERLESS PHONE PHOTOGRAPHS: CONTEST WINNERS!

In December, we challenged NYU Abu Dhabi students to use their phones for photography – without using any filters of any sort.  We had so many submissions that it was difficult to filter out three winning photographs, but filter we did and here are the results! Stay tuned for upcoming contests and remember that all submissions will be considered for possible inclusion in the first-ever print publication of student creative work, which will feature work from students at NYUAD and the GNU.

Congratulations to the winners!

Caroline Cobena, “Yorkney’s Knob, Australia”

Cobena_YorkneysKnob

 

Tom Taylor, “On Break”

Taylor_OnBreak

 

 

Agustina Zegers, untitled

Zegers 2

 

Abu Dhabi Reads The American Granddaughter

Abu Dhabi Reads The American Granddaughter

american-granddaughter

Electra Street is sponsoring a third “Abu Dhabi Reads” community program in conjunction with the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute. We’ll be reading The American Granddaughter (Al-Hafeeda al-Amreekiya), the second novel by Iraqi journalist and author Inaam Kachachi. Our discussion will take place in the garden of NYUAD’s Downtown Campus from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 14. The formal discussion will last just over an hour, with time for informal discussion over refreshments afterward.

The American Granddaughter dramatizes the pain of transnationalism in times of war. In the aftermath of the second U.S. invasion of Iraq and the ouster of Sadaam Hussein, Zeina Behnam returns to Iraq, fifteen years after fleeing to the U.S. with her family. Working as an interpreter for the U.S. army, she finds herself torn between allegiance to her adopted country and loyalty to the country of her birth. Zeina’s cultural background is further complicated by the fact that she is linked to two of Iraq’s minority groups, the Chaldean Christians on her father’s side and the Kurds on her mothers. Her devoutly religious and fervently nationalistic maternal grandmother, Rahma, seeks to re-educate her American Granddaughter in the ways of Iraq, but things really become complicated when Zeina falls in love with one of her “milk-brothers,” who also happens to be a member of the ultra-conservative Mahdi Army.

“If sorrow were a man I would not kill him. I would pray for his long life,” Zeina tells us on the novel’s opening page. “For it has honed me and smoothed over the edges of my reckless nature.” Zeina is an engaging narrator, who loves to make up titles for imaginary movies about episodes from her life, but the novel also includes chapters told from the third-person perspectives of several of its other characters. Careening between vivid scenes of “present” action in Baghdad ca. 2003 and memories of the past, The American Granddaughter vividly captures the disorientation and havoc wrought by war.

Written in Arabic and translated into English by Nariman Youssef, the novel was nominated for the Arabic Booker Prize. The English version is available in Kindle format from amazon.com, and copies of the English-language hardcover are available at the Magrudy’s branch on the NYU campus.For the first time at an “Abu Dhabi Reads” event, we will be offering simultaneous translation into Arabic.

If you think you might attend, please RSVP at the NYUAD Institute’s website so that we know how many refreshments to order.

We look forward to seeing you at “Abu Dhabi Reads” for an evening of lively conversation.

 

 

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