Clairobscur | ARLI LIBERMAN
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ARLI LIBERMAN: Jafa

22 Mars 2016

From Israel to New Zealand, Arli Liberman’s background is as interesting as it is diverse.

His music seamlessly brings together sounds of both his Middle Eastern heritage and Western influences such as Jimmy Page, Brian Eno, David Gilmour and Michael Brook. Moving from alternative jazz to instrumental rock and fearless, ambient music, Arli celebrates a diverse spectrum of the world’s vibrant melodies, harmonies and rhythms.

Arli’s musical journey began as a teenager. He managed to avoid mandatory conscription and took the leap to separate from his family and move to a kibbutz, an Israeli collective community, where he was encouraged to pursue his musical ambitions. He became a session musician at just 16, was mentored by platinum-selling English record producer and bassist Mark Smulian and joined the WhiteFlag Project.

Made up of both Israeli and Palestinian musicians, the WhiteFlag Project was one of the first of its kind in the Middle East and aimed to help young prodigies nurture their artistic talent. They could not tour in either of their homelands but played massive international shows including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, to a crowd of 200,000 at the Creation of Peace Festival in Russia and an appearance for Amnesty International at the 2008 Global Peace Festival. Arli also co-produced, edited and performed on their album Talk in 2005, with the band going on to create the award-winning documentary Playing With The Enemy.

In 2009, Arli moved to New Zealand where he released his self-titled debut solo album in November 2013. Featuring 8 mesmerising original songs, the record received rave reviews and captured the rawness of Arli’s live performances. He has pursued new collaborations during his time here with leading members of New Zealand’s cultural elite including John Baxter, Jol Mulholland, Whirimako Black, Ngatapa Black and Nigel Gavin.

The White Flag project had planted seeds that took some time to develop and these, together with an interest in practicing yoga from 2011, germinated into a new direction for Arli as he began to explore his ambient vocabulary and look at using his guitar in radical new ways.

With the use of multiple effects pedals and “looping” sections of his playing new textures and sounds were created. Using just an electric guitar a multitude of sounds including percussion, string sounds, ambiences, bass and even vocals (with the use of an ebow) could be made by just one man, live, and this opened up almost endless possibilities.

Some of the first results of this was the LP “Fata Morgana” and performances at renowned festival Wanderlust in 2015. The perfect music for chilling out or to accompany meditations, “Fata Morgana” – which translates to ‘mirage’ – showcases his astonishing spectrum of talent and diversity as an artist. The LP was snapped up by New Zealand label Marigold.

2016 sees the release of a new LP in June and further performances at the Wanderlust festivals in Australasia, America and Europe.

Captivating crowds through his electrifying, multi-genre-bending performances, Arli builds expansive soundscapes using purely his guitar and his array of pedals. His unique style, world class talent and ability to read and respond to audiences has lead him to become one of the most intriguing artists in the local scene.