The next 10x10 Arts Series performance at Walton Arts Center is an immersive multi-media experience by electroacoustic group Niyaz on Thursday, April 13 at 7pm. Ticket prices are $10 and can be purchased in-person at Walton Arts Center’s Box Office, by calling 479.443.5600 or online.

Niyaz breaks new ground on The Fourth Light, a far-reaching album that defies the conventions of world music and makes a bold statement to a global audience. Blending poetry and folk songs from the Middle East with rich, acoustic instrumentation and state-of-the-art electronics including advanced projection and body-mapping techniques, Niyaz creates a three-dimensional environment that invites the audience inside the art to share in a unique narrative that aims to bridge the gap between East and West.
"It's a daring task to try and bridge the chasm between peoples," says Azam Ali, “but if we can make that happen, even for the moments when people listen to our music, then who's to say we did not triumph in our goal?"
The band’s musical and personal heritage lies in the mysticism of the East; but Niyaz was formed in California and is based in Montreal. One of their aims has long been to build a bridge between East and West – creating a sanctuary from a modern world of polarized ideologies.
The message of hope in the face of oppression and the need for unity remain pivotal to the band. Their sublime, ever-evolving mix of poetry and song is delivered through music that is both uplifting and transformative.
After three successful albums, which have topped the world music sales and radio charts and placed them in front of audiences around the world, Niyaz has created what is arguably their most mature work yet. Mixed by Grammy-nominated producer/electronic musician Damian Taylor (Bjork, The Killers, Arcade Fire), the album offers exotic rhythms, outstanding acoustic performances and of course the bewitching melancholy of front-woman Ali's voice – all seamlessly blended into a production of richly textured arrangements, sweeping choruses and electronic beats.
On The Fourth Light, lead singer, co-composer and co-producer Ali takes on the role of electronic musician for the first time, programming all the beats for the album. This is a major achievement for a woman who until now has been principally recognized for her spellbinding voice, which has been featured in some of the biggest Hollywood film and television scores.
“Their journey across oceans can be heard in their music… this is an interesting blend of modern electronica with traditional folk songs and Sufi mysticism.”