Cairo, late 2013.
In a city in turmoil, where the curfew had just been lifted after a second coup d'état, where the walls were still covered in dreams and revolt, where even the clubs of the city-centre echoed with anti-Islamist and anti-army slogans, I was deeply touched by the voice of Abdullah Miniawy at the100Copies music studio, a stone's throw from Tahrir Square. A Sufi singer, writer, poet, poetry-slammer and student from the El-Fayoum oasis, this spokesman for Egyptian youth was shaking up the music scene and social networks with his hypnotic voice and unique blend of rock, electro and jazz music, both punk and psychedelic, secular and avant-garde. Three months later, Abdullah's first on-stage revelations took place at the La Voix est Libre festival in Cairo with the "Jimi Hendrix of oud", Mehdi Haddab, followed by his first meeting with composer and saxophonist Peter Corser at the D-CAF festival (Downtown Contemporary Art Festival), created in the aftermath of the revolution by leading figure in theatre Ahmed El-Attar. After three years of administrative battles, while censorship was making a comeback in Egyptian artistic circles, Abdullah finally arrived in Paris where he recorded an initial version of Purple Feathers with Peter Corser, which was broadcast on Soundcloud.
In 2017, gripped from the very first seconds by these soaring vocal and instrumental performances, Erik Truffaz accepted our invitation to become involved with Peter's hypnotic loops and Abdullah's electric vocals, and was soon joined by the visceral strings of cellist Karsten Hochapfel. Five years later, Le Cri du Caire is still turning heads, gets standing ovations and often moving audiences to tears. Both free and spiritual, sensitive and elusive, their music elevates the soul to giddy heights and flies towards what may well be one of the shortest paths from zero to infinity.