During the last few weeks, my friends and family have mistaken the work of Christine Abdelnour Sehnaoui for both a broken air conditioner and a car dying outside my window. I can’t say that I blame them. Her recordings call to mind unoiled hinges, deflating balloons, asthma attacks. This Parisian alto-saxophonist, born 31 years ago to Lebanese émigré parents, plays like music does not exist. When she performs live, Sehnaoui clamps her eyes tightly shut – an expression that speaks to the intensity of focus she applies to her challenging and surprisingly diverse oeuvre. . . Sehnaoui comes from a school of improvised music obsessed with the sonic possibilities of things.
My article on Christine Abdelnour Sehnaoui for The National is now online. Ordinarily I harbor a strong dislike for the saxophone. But in Christine’s hands, it is pure weird gold. Continue reading.