Born in and supported by Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, this multidisciplinary platform aims to create awareness about contemporary culture related to electronic music.

A SOUNDWAVE ACROSS DOHA

Sonic Jeel, an experimental and imaginative experience, has been carving a niche for itself in Doha’s art scene. Born in and supported by Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) – a Qatar Foundation partner – the multidisciplinary platform aims to create more awareness about contemporary culture related to electronic music, sound installations and audiovisual approaches, while working alongside the wider creative community in Doha and the region.

Sonic Jeel is a collaborative initiative made up of artists investigating sound design and audiovisual media within the context of Qatar and the Gulf region.

The group is comprised of VCUarts Qatar faculty members – Associate Professor Michael Hersrud and Simone Muscolino, Director of Art Foundation – with other VCUarts Qatar faculty, students and alumni.

They describe their ambition as building a platform for “exploratory research production and distribution of experimental sonic work in support of the growing creative local industry.”

A SOUNDWAVE ACROSS DOHA

Their energetic sound is heavily influenced by the unique experience they are living in Doha.

“Our work is deeply influenced by the place in which we reside, the sounds we hear around us and the people we meet,” said Simone. “It’s kind of embedded in the creative process.”

“It’s a special experience,” said Michael. “We are fortunate to collaborate with an international pool of students and faculty at VCUarts Qatar, and I’m happy that this mix of culture can be heard in the unique sounds that Sonic Jeel has produced.”

Over the past year, Sonic Jeel has worked closely with VCUarts Qatar Assistant Professor Hadeer Omar, who is also an independently practising new media artist.

A SOUNDWAVE ACROSS DOHA

Hadeer, a primary collaborator with Sonic Jeel, has been integral to several recent performances, specifically contributing her expertise of projected video and light to create immersive spaces.

The artistic collective has participated in multiple local and international events over the past year.

Sound is often intangible, so we attempt to connect our sound production to something physical that could translate to an object or activating a space for an event, similar to what we did for Printed Matter’s Virtual Art Book Fair in New York,” said Michael.

A SOUNDWAVE ACROSS DOHA

In partnership with Getfadaa, an online platform connecting artists and spaces around the world, and Msheireb Downtown Doha’s Al Hosh Gallery, the group represented Doha under the theme ‘When the World Closed’, which also saw ambitious acts from Khartoum, Beirut, Gaza and Marrakech through different art forms such as dance, visual arts, music and theatre. ✤

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