*CANCELLED* Silence Presents Bilal Nasser

*CANCELLED* Silence Presents Bilal Nasser

May 31, 2024

Doors 7:30pm

Show 8pm


Bilal Nasser is an award-winning, Palestinian-Canadian guitarist and composer from Windsor, Ontario. Known for his ability to blend his classical guitar background with his passion for more experimental genres such as post-rock, shoegaze, and drone. Through his unique output he challenges assumptions as to what classical guitar music can be, result-ing in a signature sound described as “Post-Classical.” Since the age of 10 Nasser has held a classical guitar in his hands. He went on to study the craft under the tutelage and mentorship of the esteemed Canadian guitarist and composer William Beauvais at York University.

While his technique is informed by his classical background, Nasser’s music occurs as a frenetic juxtaposition of musical influences not typically associated with classical guitar. Nasser is deliberate through his immersion in underground musical cultures existing outside the boundaries established by the classical music world. Through his work, Nasser rejects the sterility and rigidity of institutional convention, bridging seemingly antithetical genres to cultivate new capacities for candid innovation – consequently realizing a distinct musical voice, coloured by his liminal exploration of both canonical and underground realms. In 2021 Nasser set a new precedent for classical composition with the release of his first full-length solo album Where the Orange Groves Grow, consisting of works for solo classical guitar, voice and electronics. Orange Groves traverses a broad aesthetic range from sprawling, long-form solo guitar pieces depicting tales from the Palestinian diaspora of loss and memory, to frenzies of looped noise and violence. His use of electronics, effects pedals, home-made skateboard drone machines, and singing and screaming into his amplified guitar make his live performances a spectacle unlike any other solo-guitarist.

Nasser continues to defy academic expectations with his artistic choices including introducing classical guitar into the popular music scene, DIY venue spaces like skate- parks, warehouses, and being the first known classical guitarist to have a mosh-pit at his shows. Since his debut release, Nasser has developed his sound and toured extensively across Canada. With the support of Ontario Arts Council and Windsor ACHF grant funding he recorded his sophomore album, How Can We Say Nothing, in 2023. This album reveals a more mature, intentional Nasser, unfolding as a single work of music for voice, guitar, string quartet, electronics and home video samples. In the fall of 2023 Nasser released two sin- gles in advance of this project’s release in 2024, On the Surface, and …So That Flies Drop Dead Mid-Air, both of which a hint at Nasser’s new artistic direction.