Pro A/V industry yet to recognise Middle East's growth potential, says German musician

Alex Sonnefeld set for global S-Notation debut at Dubai’s inaugural Sample Music Festival at Prolight + Sound Middle East
Alex Sonnefeld
Alex Sonnefeld

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German music disruptor, Alex Sonnefeld, who created the S-Notation skratch music art form which uses mixers and turntables as instruments, says the professional audio-visual industry is yet to fully recognise Middle East’s growth potential.

Alex Sonnefeld, a guest professor at the Hip Hop online Qbert Skratch University, is set to bring his ‘Theory of Motions’ new music medium production to Dubai’s first Sample Music Festival (SMF), a dedicated event for DJing, Turntablism, Controllerism and Live Sampling for DJs, music producers and audio gurus. SMF, which was born in Berlin, will run from October 15-17 as a headline feature of the fourth Prolight + Sound Middle East show.

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“This is the first time our Sample Music Festival production has been seen outside of Germany,” said Sonnefeld. “It seems like the pro A/V industry is yet to fully recognise the potential for growth in the Middle East and we intend to help change that on a long-term basis.

“Turntables and MIDI controllers are the guitars and drums of today; due to the accessibility of digital production and performance technology, and the multitude of possibilities it offers creators, these are the instruments of the modern age. This isn’t meant to delegitimise traditional instruments, it’s more about legitimising the techniques electronic musicians use and have them recognised at the same level. This year’s SMF presence is only the first in a series of many steps to change the perception of the pro A/V industry using our collective network.”

Sonnefeld’s crew includes electronic artists from Berlin, Paris and London, and will introduce a variety of B2B and B2C techniques and technologies showing artists how much can be done and demonstrating interesting cases, including the art’s original links to the Middle East and Africa.

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“If you look at the rhythmic structures predominant in electronic music, it’s impossible to deny their roots. A lot of the sounds we create originated in the African and Middle Eastern regions, and Western musicians have openly borrowed from that countless times over,” added Sonnefeld, whose SMF crew has joined forces with DJ City, one of the world’s largest online record pools for professional club DJs, which has a presence in Dubai.

Messe Frankfurt, organisers of Prolight+Sound Middle East, says the SMF debut gives the region’s entertainment industry a chance to get its hands on the latest gear, attend showcase presentations, meet international artists and join in workshops.

Prolight+Sound Middle East will also feature the free-to-attend Technology & Entertainment Forum on October 15 and 16. The Forum will host over 20 local and international industry speakers to discuss trends and strategies for developing world-class events, attractions and AV technology-driven venues and installations.

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