Khabat Abas is an experimental cellist, improviser, and composer born in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. She moves freely between artistic disciples and possibilities. Her work has been inspired by noise, improvisation, classical music, contemporary music and narrative story. Embodiment, materiality and sound research are tangible in Khabat’s work which began with the acoustic cello, prepared cello, and recently with adapted cello. In her practice, she questions what is out of the bounds that raise the possibilities. Therefore, she considers herself a rule-breaker, focusing on the cello, making the instrument into a different material, improvising, composing and producing sound installations, and being interested in making videos.
Abas has performed with various ensembles, including the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, Sulaymaniyah string orchestra, Gothenburg Academic Symphony Orchestra and the Non-Ensemble for experimental music in Sweden. She has also collaborated with curators, artists and musicians in Kurdistan-Iraq, Sweden, Germany and the UK. Aba’s last piece for electro-acoustic cello was performed in Slemani-Kurdistan as a part of the Global Listening Biennial 2021. She also performed during the Space21 festival in Iraq Kurdistan 2021, Winter sound festival in Canterbury 2022 and the Borderline Festival Athens 2022. She is co-founder of Duo Moment; together with Hardi Kurda, they released two albums, “Broken Resonance” on Space21 Label and “Illegal Performance” at Café Oto 2021; she also did a video for her Bombshell cello. She has been awarded a grant from Salam culture house in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Swedish art council community (konstnärsnämndens).