‘On the one hand we want to celebrate the musical traditions that have deep roots and are super rich. So we produce these videos of the unadulterated songs. And on the other hand we want to create a harmonious link between this rich past and the future.’ Says musician, DJ and multimedia artist Hatim Belyamani aka officerfishdumplings, who started the project REMIX ←→ CULTURE in 2012.
REMIX ←→ CULTURE is a non-profit artist collective creating new links between traditional music from around the world and digital remix art. The project began in Belyamani’s native Morocco, a land uniquely rich in melodies and rhythms of diverse origins and influences. Here he had traditional music groups shot and recorded with multiple microphones and cameras. At home in San Francisco Belyamani and other remix artists used the footage to create new remixes.
To enable non-professionals to create such audio-visual remixes, Belyamani also created EL MAC-INA (which translates to “the machine”), a video remixing platform that is operated by pressing buttons and moving knobs and faders. All of the sounds and images contained therein are derived from traditional music recordings and footage captured during the collective’s trips. EL MAC-INA has been programmed to automatically synchronize all of its loops, even as the user changes the overall tempo, and applies effects, thus making it easy for the user to have fun and create something unique.
Growing up in Morocco, Belyamani began as a classically trained pianist, winning national and international awards. As an adolescent, he focused more on jazz, improvisation, and taught himself guitar. He attended Harvard University, where he filled his electives with music courses, ranging from music theory and history to composition, jazz performance, and ethnomusicology. Since Harvard, he has produced and performed in many solo and collaborative music projects under the moniker “officerfishdumplings”, performing in numerous venues around the world, notably San Francisco, NY, Berlin, and Casablanca.