Wisaal wsg The Tia Imani Hanna Project

East Lansing--(SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles Street, will host a CD release concert for the Lansing-based group Wisaal, with special guest The Tia Imani Hanna Project on Friday, November 30, at 8 p.m.

The admission is $5 for students, $7 for the general public.

Wisaal is proud to announce the release of their first full-length album, “The Warp and The Weft." An Arabic-influenced world music group based in Lansing, MI, Wisaal has spent the last two years developing and refining their music while touring throughout the Midwest. Wisaal’s music has captivated audiences, and has been described as “convivial and contagious” and “natural, earthy, and human.”

Wisaal’s music draws influences from around the globe. Instrumental tunes from the Arab world such as Zeina and Samai Kurd are presented alongside original compositions and arrangements. Bamo Ramo, written by former Wisaal member Navjot Sandhu, combines Indian rhythms with Bollywood-like melodies borrowed from the Balkans. Dark Eyes features the Klezmer-influenced clarinet of Will Cicola in a fresh take on this old Gypsy tune. Aspen Grove and Fusion Dance, written by mandolinist Ben Fuhrman, combine Arabic melodic ideas with jazz and classical influences. “I am pumped to be releasing this new album. People will finally know what we really sound like!” said percussionist Mike List.

Recorded in Kalamazoo, MI with expert recording engineer Ian Gorman of the Red Sea Pedestrians and mastered by Lansing audio guru Glenn Brown, “The Warp and the Weft” represents Wisaal’s first foray into professional recording.  “The whole process was a very creative and invigorating one,” says bandleader Igor Houwat. “From working the music to naming the album and deciding on the artwork, we are very proud of what we have accomplished.”

The recording process was funded by an Excellence in Diversity award from Michigan State University and a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. “We are honored to have such strong support from the community,” says percussionist Ty Forquer. “Recording is a very expensive process, and the support of MSU and our Kickstarter backers has allowed us to do this without going into debt or compromising on the quality of the album.”

The band is made up of Igor Houwat (oud), Will Cicola (clarinet), Ben Fuhrman (mandolin), Tim Patterson (bass), Ty Forquer (percussion), and Mike List (percussion).

“The Warp and the Weft” is available for purchase at www.wisaalmusic.com, and digital downloads are available through iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and Google Music.

(SCENE) Metrospace is East Lansing’s City-funded contemporary art gallery and performance space. It is located at 110 Charles St. in downtown East Lansing. Contact Tim Lane at scenemetrospace@gmail.com or visit www.scenemetrospace.com  for more information about the space. Regular gallery hours are Thursdays from 2-5 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 2-6 p.m. and Sundays from noon-4 p.m.; and by appointment.


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