C4NM & Arab.AMP presents Donia Jarrar’s BUTCHER – Night 2

Sunday, March 24, 2024 — 4:00 PM
Tickets: Name Your Price
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Concept album and live performance work by Dr. Donia Jarrar

Bay Area collaborators include Christian McLaurin, Lara Aburamadan, Manan Kocher

This hybrid opera is based on Jarrar’s own experiences with domestic violence, in which she takes on the persona of a vigilante and antihero doling out punishments through the power wielded to her via a sonic cleaver. While her role is rooted in protecting victims and removing the social stigma around domestic violence in our community, she is by no means just or angelic. Jarrar aims to explore what is possible when women, non-binary people and queers of all genders defy, disrupt and destroy the patriarchy through violent means and without mercy, drawing inspiration from horror, science-fiction and the erotic. BUTCHER combines grandiose piano solo pieces with songs written for bass and piano, synthesizer, and oral histories collected from established North African feminist figures and local survivors of DV and intimate partner violence. It has developed into a theatrical work as well, with the songs presenting themselves across 4 acts.

BUTCHER weaves a story of survival, strength, and Palestinian resistance through Jarrar’s first deep foray into songwriting, all while maintaining her signature incorporation of oral histories, field recordings and piano scores.  This will be the Bay Area premiere of the work. 



Dr. Donia Jarrar (she/they, b. Kuwait City) is a first generation Egyptian-Palestinian-American composer, pianist, bassist, singer-songwriter, improviser, producer and educator known for her unique use of field recordings, working with oral histories and their relationship to the composition and shaping of new musical works across varying genres. She releases music under the solo moniker Phonodelica (click for link), an experimental sound project which The Quietus recognized as “one of the more striking examples of artistic endeavour of this still young decade”. Jarrar’s debut album HIDDEN ASSEMBLAGES was released in 2022 on Deathbomb Arc and distributed through Fat Beats Records. From April to June of 2022, Dr. Jarrar was artist-in-residence at the Arab American National Museum, where they produced and debuted their theatrical multimedia production BUTCHER, featuring Jarrar’s own experiences and their community members experiences with domestic violence and sexual assault. Dr. Jarrar worked with poet Yasmine Rukia and dancers Ava Ansari and Zaza Saad. In 2021, she was nominated for and named Palestine’s Young Artist of the Year for her large-scale interdisciplinary project, album and sound installation Into the Ether and Out of Our Anguish/عبر الأثير, which had its opening at the AM Qattan Foundation in Ramallah in March 2022. Her documentary opera Seamstress was awarded a Discovery Grant for female composers of opera from the National Opera Center of America, and tells the story of four women, including her students and artists from her community in Palestine, through lush chamber orchestrations, electronics, film and dance. Dr. Jarrar’s personal experiences as a third culture kid strongly shaped her compositional voice, leading her to explore themes of intergenerational memory, trauma, identity, exile, displacement, and cultural narrative in her work.


Arab.AMP is a platform for experimental live art, music, and ideas from the SWANA diaspora, the region, and our allied communities. Curated by Leyya Mona Tawil, Arab.AMP celebrates the plurality of voices operating in futurism, hybrid and transgressive forms. Rooted in Oakland-CA, and nomadic in nature; we partner with venues and festivals inter/nationally. We produce concerts, tours, artistic commissions, gatherings, and residencies for the communities we serve. Arab.AMP is a program of Dance Elixir 501c3.

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