For our MAD Sessions in Beirut, we’re introducing you to local talents daynone and Firas Haidar. These MAD talents will stun you all night with an infusion of electronic music and visual representations to along with it. Let’s meet them below!
Both of you have full time jobs, so what do you currently do?
Daynone: I work as an iOS engineer at Anghami and make my music on the side. Working at a music-related tech company helps me even further think about what the possibilities of music mixed with technology are.
Firas: I have been lucky enough to find enough success as a freelance photographer and videographer.
How and when did you first begin working together to create this musical, visual journey?
Firas: We’ve been really close friends since our first year of university, when we both met as engineering students but found out about each other’s passion for the arts. As aspiring artists at the time, it was easy for us to imagine how a musician and a filmmaker can collaborate. It’s just been a lot of fun and experimentation since then, as our first collaboration came when I helped Samir create visual content for Dis/covered back in 2017.
So, we’ve heard about SYD… Who and what is SYD? Why SYD?
Firas: SYD is an interactive music visualization tool that mainly controls videos in real-time based on the frequency, tempo, and beat of the music. We first conceptualized a very early version of this program with our close friends, Joseph and Ziad, as a final project for our audio engineering course; then continued improving it together after we graduated. We named it SYD because we needed a name and thought of Pink Floyd’s Syd Barret.
Explain more about the link between what you’ve studied in university and how you managed to bring it into what you’re doing now.
Both: If we’re talking about SYD, then we don’t think we would’ve been able to come up with this concept and bring it to life had we not studied engineering. Samir has known how to program software since high school, but taking an audio engineering course really helped us figure out how to use music and the different parameters of sound to manipulate video.
If you could be one song, what song would you choose?
Daynone: I would choose to be LCD Soundsystem’s Dance Yrself Clean. Have a long but well-rounded build-up that’s still enjoyable as a separate entity, and then eventually come in with the main beat and melody, the “oh that’s what he’s been building towards” moment. Honestly, anything’s better than being a song that’s characterized by just one good drop.
Firas: This question is evil, but if I absolutely had to, then Pyramids (Frank Ocean), No Church In The Wild (Kanye West and Jay Z), Loud Places (Jamie xx), and Starman (David Bowie) are the first songs that come to mind. I know you only asked for one but this is my compromise.
And if you could be one movie, what movie would you choose?
Daynone: Hmm.. Scott Pilgrim vs the World maybe? The aesthetics and surrealism of that world are just very appealing to me. I could do without the cold though.
Firas: Evil. But maybe Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki), Blade Runner 2049 (Dennis Villeneuve), Her (Spike Jonze), What We Do In The Shadows (Taika Waititi), Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller). Different moods, different movies. I really can’t choose one.
Who are the people that inspire what you do?
Daynone: Nicolas Jaar, Four Tet, Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins, Lou Reed, Kanye West, James Murphy.
Firas: The artists I have mentioned above are direct influences on who I want to become. I would also add Donald Glover, Tyler, The Creator, Paul Thomas Anderson, David Lynch, Nicholas Winding Refn, Vince Gilligan, Cary Fukunaga, Brockhampton, and many others.
I think there are so many people out there to draw influence and learn from. If I were to focus more on local artists who have influenced me, I’d name my partner, Nour Annan, my short film’s producer, Tariq Keblaoui as well as playwright, director and university professor Sahar Assaf.
What should people expect on July 31st?
Both: We will be delivering exactly what we promised: good music manipulating good visuals in an interesting way. If the crowd enjoys that, then we will all be sharing a memorable audiovisual experience together.
How MAD are you?